Matey business symposium advances life lessons to students

EARNING THE FIRST DOLLAR — As part of the Dr. Barbara A. Matey HIgh School Business Symposium, a team is awarded their first dollar, compliments of Hancock County Savings Bank, in recognition of designing and marketing a successful product. This year’s winning team included, from left, David Shimmel of Steubenville Catholic Central; Ryan Ekay of Madonna; Kelsey Stover of Burgettstown; Gracie Chapline of Brooke; Jordan Rodriguez of Oak Glen; Sydney Hall of Oak Glen and Katherine Kell of Weir. -- Craig Howell

WEIRTON — Local high school juniors received an early introduction to business Wednesday as part of the annual Dr. Barbara A. Matey High School Business Symposium.

The event, organized by the Weirton Area Chamber of Commerce, invites approximately 120 students each year to participate, with schools from across the Tri-State Area taking part.

“It’s always a good day,” Chamber President Brenda Mull said, noting the lessons involved can be used throughout participants’ lives, and is especially timely for the high school juniors as many are at the point of looking for their first job.

This year’s symposium was held at the Holiday Inn — Weirton.

Mull explained the event is designed to provide students with a taste of the business world, learning about job interviews, the budget process, marketing techniques, project deadlines and product development.

LEARNING BUSINESS — Nearly 120 area high school juniors got a taste of the business world Wednesday as part of the annual Dr. Barbara A. Matey High School Business Symposium, organized by the Weirton Area Chamber of Commerce. -- Craig Howell

This year, students from Brooke, Steubenville Catholic Central, Burgettstown, Madonna, Oak Glen, Steubenville and Weir high schools took part.

Once students arrive, they are divided into working groups, with each of the schools represented. Mull said this provides an opportunity for the students to meet people from different schools and learn the importance of teamwork with others with whom they may not be familiar.

They begin their day with a budget workshop, being provided with examples of different jobs and the money made from those positions, as well as typical expenses in today’s world. They also are given tips for completing a successful job interview, as well as how to fill out a resume or job application, and learn skills in marketing and its importance in business.

Finally, students are tasked with designing and promoting a product, selecting materials and analyzing its costs in the hopes of a successful test.

“The kids really seem to like it,” Mull said.

Mull offered thanks to all those who contributed their time toward Wednesday’s symposium, making particular note of Caroll Rosenlieb, who served as the event chair.

“I’m appreciative of all the volunteers from the business community who help ­to make this successful,” Mull said.

Sponsors for the symposium included Hancock County Savings Bank; Starvaggi Charities; ArcelorMittal USA, which also provided the chamber with a grant to assist its youth programs; First Choice America Community Federal Credit Union; Franciscan University of Steubenville; Mountaineer Casino, Racetrack and Resort; The Weirton Daily Times; Madonna High School; Healthways; James White Construction; Fort Steuben Mall; First National Bank; Wyngate Senior Living Center; Weirton Medical Center; Small Business Development Center; JJ Guida Realty; Fairfield Inn and Suites; MedExpress; Taco Bell and the West Virginia University Extension Office.

(Howell can be contacted at, and followed via Twitter @CHowellWDT)