SOUTH HAVEN — If you’re looking for a job, you might find one at the South Haven Area Chamber of Commerce’s Community Expo.
Now in its sixth year, the expo will take place from 10 a.m.-2 p.m., Saturday, April 13 at South Haven High School, 600 Elkenburg St.
“Over 75 businesses, clubs and organizations will be represented, ready to engage one-on-one with the community,” said Kathy Wagaman, executive director of the chamber.
Some of the businesses that plan to attend include real estate companies, financial institutions, retailers and health care groups.
A number of those businesses will be taking job applications, according to Wagaman.
“There will be many who are because this time of year a large percentage of our local businesses are in hiring mode,” she said. “We encourage attendees looking for work to dress for success, bring a resume and feel free to talk with businesses. Many non-profit organizations will also be looking to recruit volunteers.”
This is the first time in several years that the expo will be returning to the high school. For the past two years the event took place at Baseline Middle School, while the high school underwent extensive renovations.
Wagaman said the chamber is glad to return to the high school, which provides more room for the vendors and attendees.
“The parking is plentiful, and the newly remodeled cafeteria and library area lend beautifully to this event,” she said. “We really enjoyed the middle school, but this provides much more space.”
When people peruse the dozens of booths at the expo, they may be surprised to find youthful looking faces manning some of them.
This year, the chamber has organized and is sponsoring a Youth in Business competition in which high school students from South Haven, Bangor and Covert have been invited to come up with an idea for a business they’d like to start and then showcase it at the expo. Judges will critique the business booths, with the winning entry receiving $1,000; second place, $750 and third, $500. The winners will be announced at the conclusion of the Community Expo.
The chamber came up with the competition to encourage entrepreneurship.
“The Chamber of Commerce exists to support all types of business. It seemed only fitting to help students understand that entrepreneurship is a viable option to consider in career planning,” Wagaman said. “Entrepreneurs, if successful, can create jobs and contribute to the success of the community in which they exist.”
Students who entered the competition have been working since December to come up with an idea for a business, develop a plan to make it economically viable and then set up a marketing plan and booth to attract prospective customers. As part of the competition, they attended several classes, sponsored by the chamber, to assist in development of their business venture.