Local business owners host showcase in campus center

By Alex Holmes

Co-Features Editor

[email protected]


Wednesday afternoon, students had the chance to interact with and meet the local businesses and employers at the third annual ‘Meet Your Neighbor’ Local Business Showcase. This year’s event had slightly lower student attendance than previous years, but a larger number of twenty five businesses presented to one hundred students.

Autumn Vogel ‘15, the Davies Leader at the Chamber of Commerce, worked along with Jim Fitch and Emily Dempster from Career Services to prepare students and presenters.

“This event began two years ago as a project put on by the Chamber Davies Leader, Katherine Bowser, to bridge the gap between the college and Meadville businesses,” said Vogel. “It has grown fairly steadily each year, and I expect it to grow even more for Davies Leaders in the future.”

Jim Fitch, Associate Director of Career Education, added that Bowser overheard a Chamber leader saying he could not find qualified candidates, so she proposed that he try Allegheny students and worked to collaborate with ACCEL.

Vogel said that since many students’ needs are met on campus, not many students go into town or know about the various businesses and industries of Meadville that are available.

“The event was marketed as a job and internship fair so that we could cater to the interests of students and make the presence of these local businesses relevant for students always hungry for jobs, internships, and volunteer opportunities,” Vogel said.

The event was intended to highlight just how many of these opportunities can be found right around the corner and further expose students to the thriving business community in Meadville.

“We want students to find jobs, internships, and make connections with the community. Also, show students the opportunities in Meadville,” Fitch said.

This event allows for a greater connection and a partnership to be formed between the community and the college.

“I didn’t keep a head count of the students that came through, but the foot-traffic was significant and many business representatives reported making many meaningful connections, which I think is more important than numbers,” Vogel said.

Vogel added that she thinks it’s really important for students to network with representatives from local business and vice versa because it encourages students to really consider some of the opportunities the area has to offer.

This was the first year the event coordinators connected with Edinboro and the Laurel Technical Institute on this event.

“A few eager students from both institutions attended the event and represented their schools well. Each institution also had staff representation present as well. I really hope that now that this partnership has been established, it will grow and strengthen, expanding the reach of the event in years to come,” Vogel said.

Ally Bartlett, ‘16, found the army table especially helpful.

“Sergeant Frank Gyovai provided an informative and interesting table which furthered my interest in a career in the military.”