Category Archives: Media Coverage

THE SOUTHERN: The Future is Now – program in full swing throughout Southern Illinois

The program is primarily funded by business investors from the community in each county. The class is open to high school juniors and seniors, who are selected by a board in each county. Lindvahl said the application process is rigorous.

Classes never meet inside a classroom. Instead, they meet in a different business each school quarter. The class meets for 90 minutes to two hours each day and provides two high-school credits to students.

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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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Gazette-Democrat: CEO program supporter says Southern Illinois has lots to offer

A lot of people consider Southern Illinois to be a region running out of job opportunities.

Beck Simonds of E.T. Simonds Construction strongly disagrees and has pledged a donation towards the Union County CEO Program – an entrepreneurship program for Union County high school juniors and seniors – to help to change that perception.

“I believe one of the biggest misconceptions by our youth today is what Southern Illinois truly has to offer as a job marketplace,” Simonds said in a news release from Union County CEO Program director of public relations Rollie Hawk.

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Voice of The Southern: Thumbs up to Union County CEO

Thumbs up … We’re impressed by a new program aimed at developing young leaders in Union County. The program replaces classroom theory with hands-on entrepreneurial experiences that bring students, educators and business owners together to develop students and business interests in the community. Midland Institute’s CEO program will allow 20 students to visit local businesses and develop their own personal products and businesses that they will show off at a trade show. “Students will actually be developing true business plans,” Rollie Hawk, Union County chief information officer, said. The program, which is funded entirely by investors, aims to keep local talent in the area. CEO, which stands for Creating Entrepreneurial Opportunities, has a track record of students developing successful businesses. The students will visit dozens of businesses and hear 50 to 60 guest speakers. Each  will also be paired with a business person in a mentor relationship.

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KFVS: School business program continues search for teacher, students

UNION COUNTY, IL (KFVS) –After getting funding to expand the Midland Institute’s CEO program into Union County, the Union County CEO program is focusing on finding a teacher and students for the 2014-2015 school year.

The Creating Entrepreneurial Opportunities (CEO) program was first implemented in Effingham County and seeks to take high school juniors and seniors out of the typical school environment for a couple hours a day and into one focused on solving real world problems with business-based solutions.

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Southeast Missourian: Union Co. to develop future entrepreneurs

Union County is the next in line to offer a program that will develop the talents of future entrepreneurs. What makes the program different is that it involves high-school students taking the course outside the school building and in the business community for two course credits.

Rollie Hawk, owner and lead consultant of Union County Technology Solutions and chief information officer of Union County, pledged to donate $3,000 to help fund the Creating Entrepreneurial Opportunities, or CEO, program during its first three years.

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