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Chamber Launches Internship Campaign

Posted on April 11, 2012

Originally published in The El Dorado News-Times on April 12, 2012.

By: Kevin Sims

Kicking off the El Dorado Chamber of Commerce internship campaign, Chamber President and CEO Henry Florsheim encouraged local businesses to contact his office on possible position openings during the Chamber meeting on Wednesday.

Florsheim said if a business hires interns, the Chamber wants to post those job descriptions on

"The goal right now is to focus on the awareness of internships ? why it?s important for companies to offer internships, what are the benefits to our employers,? he said. "It?s a great way to develop your workforce. It?s a great way to show our students there are opportunities here so they don?t have to move away. We need company support to do this.?

After putting enough internship opportunities online, he said the Chamber will then start going to the schools and approaching students to fill the needs.

Florsheim used the Chamber?s intern, James York, as an example of how a company could use one of these student workers.

He said he treats York like any other part-time employee, with the only difference being that York?s jobs must directly relate to his college major. York currently works in marketing, design and event planning.

"Our goal is to help him prepare when he gets out of school and looks for a full-time position,? Florsheim said.

Also discussed at the meeting was the Gone in 60 Seconds Elevator Pitch Competition, to be held April 19 at the Rialto Theatre.

Florsheim said this event will give prospective entrepreneurs an opportunity to present business ideas to potential investors, and the person with the best idea will walk away with $1,000.

"If you?re looking to start a business, or if you?re looking to buy into a business and help get someone started, our goal is to match those two up,? Florsheim said.

The event is free to the public and Florsheim encourages everyone to attend. He said that the bar at Marilyn?s will be open during the event.

Anyone wanting to participate in the competition must register ahead of time and contact the Chamber to do so.

Florsheim said that the Chamber is also planning an all-day trip to Conway on May 5 to look at a state highway project in that area that includes roundabouts and sidewalks.

He said it is important to foster community involvement in the trip because there have been some talks about Hillsboro being redone in the same manner.

There will be no charge for the trip.

In other business:

? Craig Griffin addressed the Chamber to give an update on the Chamber?s opposition to the severance tax on natural gas that was adopted during the last meeting. He said since the last meeting, the El Dorado City Council has also adopted a similar resolution to oppose the tax. 

? Florsheim gave an update on Leadership Union County. He said the latest session focuses on quality of life in Union County and the group visited city parks, the golf course, bike/jogging paths, the El Dorado Municipal Auditorium and the South Arkansas Arts Center.

? Florsheim said that the Chamber will still do a Fourth of July fireworks display, but will not hold a full-day festival. He said the fireworks will be similar to the display on New Year?s Eve and will go off at dusk."