POINT PLEASANT — Members of the Mason County Area Chamber of Commerce spent its monthly luncheon hearing from the future.
Tuesday’s luncheon was held at the Mason County Career Center, with students from the school’s FFA, FBLA (Future Business Leaders of America) and SkillsUSA and ProStart programs, speaking about their endeavors.
Introduced by FFA Instructor Sam Nibert, members of the FFA chapter spoke to chamber members about their program, including how it assists young people in developing leadership skills and utilizing curriculum in the real world. For example, lessons learned in plant science and agribusiness classes can be applied to the chapter’s greenhouse located behind the career center where members grow their own plants. Also included in the presentation were events during FFA week, the chapter’s annual banquet and holiday fruit sales which are now underway. The underlying theme of the presentation was, the contemporary FFA is about job seekers and future job creators.
Taking turns delivering the presentation from FFA were Catherine Payne, reporter, Alex Gibbs, secretary, Jason Bechtle, sentinel, Hannah Taylor, treasurer, Cinthia Keefer, president, Emily Keefer, vice president.
FBLA members Morgan Camp and Tatum Ferris spoke about their local chapter and its mission of bringing education and business, together, including utilizing the tool of career development programs. The local FBLA chapter holds weekly meetings, competes in local, state and national competitions. The chapter’s community service programs include providing meals, supporting the March of Dimes, as well as natural disaster relief and recycling initiatives. FBLA also provides its members training to enter the workforce by offering lessons in computer programs Microsoft Word, Excel, Access, Power Point and classes in accounting as well as business and marketing. Camp, president of the chapter, explained the program offers scholarship and travel opportunities, including a trip to Anaheim, Calif. this year for the group. Camp, who is also state secretary for FBLA, also spoke about a new “FBLAOPOLY” game developed for state clubs to chart progress within those groups.
Next, students Heather Donohew and Logan Sroufe, spoke about the SkillsUSA chapter at the career center, which offers options for learning in the automotive, culinary, nursing and graphic design fields. Donohew said the group had grown from a handful to a room full in just a year. The local chapter had just attended the fall leadership event at Cedar Lakes and has attended the national conference in Louisville, Ky. SkillsUSA serves more than 300,000 students and instructors, annually, and fosters improvements in America’s skilled workforce. The slogan for the organization is “Champions at Work.” Following Donohew and Sroufe, were Morgan McCarthy and Tim Akins of the ProStart culinary program at the career center, who spoke about the program and opportunities for scholarships to attend culinary school. The center’s culinary students prepared lunch for the chamber meeting under the direction of ProStart Instructor Diane Saunders.
Following the presentations, Sharon Stapleton of Peoples Bank, a partner in education with the school, presented Principal Cheryl Moore with a check for $250 from the bank, to be used on any special projects or funding teachers were needing for programs.
Stapleton also informed members of a new initiative by the Main Street Merchants to purchase lights to create lighted Christmas balls similar to the ones in Gallipolis City Park. The lights will be hung in downtown Point Pleasant and assembled by FFA students at the career center. Donations are needed for the purchase of materials.
Chamber Vice President Larry Jones spoke about the community Christmas cantata, which will have members from at least 14 area churches performing at 7 p.m., Dec. 10-11 at Main Street Baptist Church.
Jones also mentioned the chamber board of directors coming out in support of the upcoming EMS levy and how they came to the decision. Jones said the board felt, after extensive review, it was “important to have a dependable EMS service.”
The chamber social is from 6-8 p.m., Dec. 6 at the First Church of God.
The luncheon was led by Jones with introductions of students by Moore. The invocation was led by FFA member Emily Keefer.
Reach Beth Sergent at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @BSergentWrites.