Prepping for tomorrow

How old were you when you applied for your first job?

Do you remember your first job interview?

At what age did you open a bank account and deposit your own earnings into it?

For me, the answers are 17; yes, as a Christmas sales clerk at Kay-Bee Toys in the Grand Central Mall; and again 17 when my mom took me to the Atlantic Financial branch in the mall so I could deposit my first paycheck from Kay-Bee Toys.

While I don’t specifically remember the job interview at the toy store, I’m sure I was nervous. Besides babysitting, this was my first attempt at a real job. I’m sure I had outstanding responses to all their questions “yes, I can be at work on time,” “I’m a people person” or some other verbal confirmation of my ability to straighten Matchbox cars in Aisle 4 and restock Barbie dolls in Aisle 2.

Would you be surprised to know that one of our area businesses receives job applications from fifth-graders? While a fifth-grader may seem a little young to venture out into the business world, what a great way to start preparing our next generation for the future. This is one example of the innovative and engaging ways our local businesses and schools come together for the Partner in Education program.

On March 22 we will hold our 28th annual Partner in Education luncheon to celebrate this example and many others that take place each year in our schools. The business partners for each school are asked to offset the costs for two students, two school personnel and two business reps to attend the luncheon. The cost remains at $120 for the six attendees. The luncheon will take place in the multipurpose room at WVU-Parkersburg from 11:45 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Business partners, please contact the Chamber office before Friday, March 8, to make your reservation to attend the Partner in Education luncheon.

Spoiler alert:

I’m pleased to share that business partner Woodcraft Supply is the area business that holds mock interviews with the fifth-graders from their partner school Worthington Elementary School. In fact, this partnership will be one of three that is featured at the luncheon on March 22.

Upcoming Special Events:

* Sam’s Club Breakfast for Chamber members, Friday, March 1, from 7:30 a.m. to 9 a.m., at Sam’s Club, 1100 Grand Central Ave., Vienna. Open to all Chamber members; Sam’s Club membership not required. Attend this breakfast to learn more about Sam’s Club, get a discount on membership renewal and tips on how to get the most out of your Sam’s Club membership. Please RSVP to if you are planning to attend.

* Business Expo, Monday, March, 4 from 4-8 p.m. at the Elite Sports Center, 2000 First Ave., Parkersburg. Attend the Business Expo to learn more about more than 70 area businesses and organizations. Win a great door prizes, make new business contacts, learn about special promotions. Free for Chamber members.

* Expo Business After Hours hosted by The Parkersburg News & Sentinel, Monday, March 4, from 4-6 p.m. at the Elite Sports Center. Open to all Chamber members. Register on-line at

* Government Relations Committee meeting, Wednesday, March 6, from 8-9 a.m. at WV Central Credit Union, second-floor Conference Room, 809 Division St. Committee members will review information about Home Rule as well as updates on recent legislative activity. Open to all Chamber members.

* Chamber Schools & Business Committee meeting, Wednesday, March 6, from noon to 1 p.m. at Criss Elementary School. Open to all Chamber members who want to work on the relationship between education and business. Committee members either bring lunch or buy from the school’s cafeteria. Photo ID required for entrance into school.

* MOV Chamber Day at the Capital, Tuesday, March 12. Chamber members are encouraged to set aside this day and travel to the State Capitol in Charleston. Lunch will be provided by our gracious member and sponsor, First Energy. Members will have the time to sit with legislators during lunch, interact and update one another on key legislative issues. Bring handouts pertaining to your organization to share with our elected officials. Attending the House and Senate sessions is also educational, as well as sitting in on committee meetings to see the inner workings of our legislature. Open to all Chamber members. Transportation to and from Charleston is the responsibility of the Chamber member. Please email the Chamber office at if you are planning to attend the MOV Chamber Day at the Capitol.

Visit this space every other Sunday for more Chamber news. We also invite you to call us at 304-422-3588, email us at, or stop by the Chamber office at 409 1/2 Market St. in Parkersburg.

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Jill Parsons is president/CEO of the Chamber of Commerce of the Mid-Ohio Valley.