THE SOUTHERN: Union County CEO establishes website

A program that will give Union County juniors and seniors hands-on business experience has launched its official website.

The Union County CEO site — — is designed to give information on the program, to provide a place for students to host their own sites when classes begin, to offer information about donors to the program and to let how individuals and businesses know how they can get involved.

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Union County CEO Program Website Goes Live


Union County CEO Program Website Goes Live

JONESBORO—The Union County CEO Program—a county-wide program to teach high school juniors and seniors about entrepreneurship by working with local business owners to develop their own business plans and actual businesses—has announced the launch of its official website at  The site promises to be a one-stop shop for the latest information on the program as well as a place for students to host their own sites once classes start.

“In addition to the program’s information, we’re really planning this as a resource that students will be able to utilize,” said program spokesman Rollie Hawk.  “One of the realities of doing business in this era is having an online presence, so we need to be able to facilitate that.  Once students begin classes we’ll be able to provide them official email addresses and websites that they’ll be able to customize with their own content, links and graphics.  As they begin developing their businesses, being able to manage their own websites will be extremely practical business experience.”

The website also features information regarding donors to the program and how other interested individuals and business owners can help out.

“We have two categories of donors in the CEO Program with separate pages on the website: investors and friends.  Anyone who pledges any amount to the program is considered a friend,” explained Hawk.  “Those who are willing to commit to three years of pledges at or above the $1000 mark, we consider full investors in the program.”

“We’ll take any donations but we’re really looking for three-year investors,” added Hawk.  “That’s going to provide us with more long-term stability and predictability.”

The program is still looking for a part-time teacher.  The position will pay $18,000 a year and will start immediately so that the teacher can attend training at the Midland Institute and begin coordinating with area businesses.

Donations to the program can be paid in lump sums or installments to the Southern Illinois Community Foundation, the funding agent for the Union County CEO Program.  Any interested donors can contact Rollie Hawk by email at or by phone at (618)925-2470.

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