WEIRTON — More than 100 area high school students got a taste of business on Wednesday.
The Dr. Barbara A. Matey High School Business Symposium, hosted by the Weirton Area Chamber of Commerce, was held at T. Kosciuszko Hall in Weirton, bringing together students from five local high schools for hands-on activities focused on their preparation for the future.
“It’s a day of active learning about how to navigate the job market and learn life skills and be in a business environment,” explained Stephanie O’Brien, the chamber’s member services and programs coordinator.
O’Brien noted that 104 students, mostly juniors with a few seniors, attended 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, tips for a successful job interview and writing a resume and job application, as well as advice on marketing and product development.
The day ends with the students, divided into groups, developing, building and testing a product, with a prize awarded to the group receiving a successful test and developing their product at a lower cost and in less time.
Joyia Lytle, Chair of the Weirton Area Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors, explained that the High School Business Symposium is one of her favorite events hosted by the chamber.
“It’s always exciting to see college kids realize how difficult the business world is,” she says, noting the opportunity to see students better understand what entering the job market entails.
Lytle also expressed his gratitude to everyone in the local business community who volunteered their time during the day, as well as the businesses and organizations that lent their 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.