WEIRTON — More than 100 area high school students received a taste of the business world Wednesday.
The Dr. Barbara A. Matey High School Business Symposium, organized by the Weirton Area Chamber of Commerce, was held at the T. Kosciuszko Hall in Weirton, bringing together students from five local high schools for hands-on activities focused on preparing them for the future.
“It’s a day of active learning about how to navigate the job market and learning life skills and being in a business setting,” explained Stephanie O’Brien, member services and programs coordinator for the chamber.
O’Brien noted 104 students, mostly juniors with a few seniors, took part in the event, representing Brooke, Madonna, Oak Glen, Steubenville and Weir high schools.
Named in memory of Barbara Matey, a longtime educator and former vice president of human resources at Hancock County Savings Bank, the event features workshops and activities focused on budgeting, advice for completing a successful job interview and building a resume and job application, as well as tips on marketing and product development.
The day culminates with the students, divided into groups, developing, building and testing a product, with a prize given to the group receiving a successful test as well as developing their product at a lower cost and in less time.
Joyia Lytle, chairwoman of the Weirton Area Chamber of Commerce’s board of directors, explained the High School Business Symposium is one of her favorite events organized by the chamber.
“It’s always exciting to see high school juniors realize how difficult the business world is,” she said, noting the opportunity to see the students have a better understanding of what is involved in entering the job market.
Lytle also expressed appreciation for all those from the local business community who volunteered their time during the day, and the businesses and organizations providing support.
This year’s symposium was supported by Brooke-Hancock Family Resource Network, Bull Pen Restaurant, Eric Waggoner-State Farm, Fairfield Inn, First Choice America Community Federal Credit Union, First Microloan of West Virginia, First National Bank, Giometti Catering, Gus’s Goodies, Hancock County Ambulance Service, Hancock County Savings Bank, James White Construction, Mountaineer Casino, Racetrack and Resort, RE Saxon Jeweler, Rowing’s Italian Ice, Summers Enterprise, USW Local 2911, Weirton Ministerial Association, and Weirton Transit.