The 2015-2016 Morgan-Scott County CEO class is winding to an end with their annual trade show Monday, May 2. The group is chosen annually from seniors throughout schools in Morgan and Scott Counties. Students fill out an application that requires recommendation from teachers. “They are a really impressive group of young people” said Andrew Reinert, facilitator of the Morgan-Scott CEO class.
The Morgan-Scott CEO program was brought to our area through the vision of Bruce Giffin, General Manager of Illinois Rural Electric Cooperative (IREC). IREC and Jacksonville Regional Economic Development Corporation provide a wide variety of resources along with many other local businesses. This year’s class is composed of 15 seniors. Every day students attend class from 7:20 a.m., to 8:50 a.m. They meet with local business owners, tour local businesses, and talk about the skills needed to run a business. The class has visited Westermeyer Industries in Bluffs, Ill., CCK Automations in Jacksonville and many other local businesses in between. Marrion Ore of JHS said her favorite part of the class is “seeing all the business in this area that you didn’t know were here and realizing all the opportunities that are available”.
Each year the students must create a class business to raise funding to launch their individual businesses. This year the class business was Dinner with Ken. The event was held at Hamilton’s with dinner and entertainment provided by Ken Bradbury.
Student owned business ideas are required to be submitted through a business plan that is reviewed by the CEO facilitator, mentors, and financial advisors. Individual local business owners help students in the development of their own businesses.
The final event is the annual Trade Show, where students have an opportunity to showcase their business for the public. The range of businesses are as varied as the students. Rylie Crocker, of Winchester, and her partner Elly Crawford, from Triopia, started Boone’s Bakery and Dog-sitting. Kaylee Robinson, of Routt joined the program with a business already started, she owns Cultiv8 Fresh Farm Produce. Robinson owns a few acres of land where she said she, “Grows virtually everything”. This year she has added a greenhouse and started all of her own seeds.
The Morgan-Scott CEO class will be having their Annual Trade show May 2 from 4- 6:30 pm at Hamilton’s in Jacksonville.