Matey symposium helps students grow

Life moves fast, and any opportunity to get a leg up in today’s world can often make or break a person’s trajectory, especially when entering the realm of business.

That’s why we appreciate the efforts of the Weirton Area Chamber of Commerce, which continues to provide the Dr. Barbara A. Matey High School Business Symposium.

Named to honor the memory of Matey, a local businessperson, educator and community volunteer, the annual symposium is offered to approximately 120 high school juniors, representing schools in Hancock and Brooke counties in West Virginia, Jefferson County in Ohio and Washington County in Pennsylvania.

It is a day-long exercise with students gaining skills in teamwork, while also learning how to build a resume, fill out a job application and much more.

They view demonstrations of job interviews in order to see how best to behave during the process; learn about the importance of establishing, and sticking to, a budget; marketing techniques; and product development. It all culminates in a project where teams plan, develop and then promote a specialized product before giving it a test run in front of their peers.

Guided by volunteers from the local business community, the students acquire these skills with the hope they use them as they move forward in life, whether through their own efforts of seeking employment, during their time in college or at home.

We thank the chamber for offering this worthwhile program each year, as well as those who have offered support in order for it to continue — especially Hancock County Savings Bank, whose employees stepped up to assist in organizing this year’s event, and ArcelorMittal Steel, which for several years has provided a grant to assist with the cost of the chamber’s youth programs.

We also encourage the participating students to keep their lessons in mind as they move through life and look forward to seeing a new crop of young professionals stepping forward next year.