Cassville Chamber forms leadership program

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Local high schoolers learn about employment opportunities

The Cassville Area Chamber of Commerce recently interviewed local high school juniors who wanted to join the inaugural Tomorrow's Leaders Today program as seniors in 2015--2016.

"I think whenever you are in that point in your life, it's really scary whenever an admissions person from college or a counselor looks at you and says, 'What are you going to do? What is your major going to be?'" said Mindi Artherton, chamber director. "From personal experience, the best way to figure out what you want to be when you grow up is to get out there and see what is available. I'm hoping that those students can kind of see job opportunities that might be available here in Cassville."

The Joplin Area Chamber of Commerce has a similar program, Artherton said. In early 2014, that chamber helped her to start the program. She brought the plan to the Cassville chamber Board, which liked the idea.

The chamber then formed a Steering Committee before meeting with Richard Asbill, superintendent of the Cassville School District; Jeff Swadley, Cassville High School principal; and the high school counselors to see if they thought the program would benefit the students, Artherton said.

About 40 juniors picked up applications to join the program. Once a month from November 2015 to March 2016, Artherton said the students will tour local businesses, and speakers will visit with the students. A graduation ceremony takes place afterward. The program focuses on government and law, industry, leadership development, healthcare and natural resources.

The hope and intent is to have students go out into all of these businesses and learn different opportunities for employment, Swadley said.

"The program is trying to make our students more aware of what the value is in terms of living in Cassville," he said. "We want them to go off to college, and we want them to come back to keep our community thriving."

Jordi Miller, high school counselor, said she thinks it is going to be a great opportunity for the students.

"I think that we spend quite a bit of time going into classrooms and educating juniors about their possible career options," Miller said. "Our teachers play a big role in also talking about the options that they have after high school."

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