Jasper Board Endorses CEO Class


Published on June 14 2013 2:02 pm
Last Updated on July 14 2013 12:07 pm
Written by Greg Sapp

Jasper County Board members have agreed to support establishment of a CEO Class in Jasper County.

Creating Entrepreneurial Opportunities is a program that has been highly successful in Effingham County, helping train high school students in how to develop and operate a business.  Now, the program is being expanded elsewhere.

Jasper County Economic Development official Ken Larimore shared information on CEO, which is a two-hour class supported by Midland States Institute, an outgrowth of Midland States Bank, which is headquartered in Effingham.  The class would meet five days a week at 7:30am at a local business for two-hour sessions.  The Jasper school district would hire a half-time teacher to work with the class, but pledges of $1,000/year for three years are being sought from the business community to keep the cost away from the school district.

Newton Community High School is vying for one of six slots among 20-some schools applying for the 2014 school year.  The program also needs business sponsors to help with students that otherwise could not afford business attire or a laptop computer required for participation in the class.

The goal is to keep students in Jasper County after finishing their education.  Students must start their own business with a business plan during their school year.  The class will be open to juniors and seniors in the Jasper district.  There is an advisory board, and the $1,000 pledges help keep the playing field level for the investors.  The investment pledges would be tax-deductible.

The Jasper board voted 8-2 with two absences to contribute the $1,000/year for three years to get the program up and running.

It was also reported that Jasper Economic Development is signing a pledge with the CEO class.

In other business, the Jasper Board heard that changes in the Enterprise Zone have been delayed...training has been held on the Open Meetings Act and the Freedom of Information Act...IDOT will open bids on the bridge by the former Old Mill Inn in Newton...the new motel is making progress...Allendale Sand and Gravel set the beams on the Hunt City East Bridge...crushed steel slag has been placed on the Ste. Marie and CIPS Roads...the start of sealing county roads should begin in a week or so...motor fuel tax funds were allocated for work on a bridge in Crooked Creek Township...and a contract with Kemper CPA Group for two years of audit service was tabled for now.

The Jasper board also directed State's Attorney Kevin Parker to write a directive to not allow ride-along passengers in any County vehicle.