Greenlee County, Arizona doubled down on its commitment to cultivating local talent last week at the Women's Career Expo.

January 28, 2019
Copper Era

The six-hour-long event saw guests enjoying a wealth of information and opportunities from six different employers looking for workers and a number of organizations dedicated to business development and finance. A host of guest speakers from as far away as California shared inspiration, stories and strategy for women who were looking to take the next step in their careers.

“We’re trying to empower women to further their education, to look for new job skills and to perhaps start a business,” Charmaine Chidester, with the Small Business Development Center, told the Copper Era. Chidester was one of several speakers who attended the expo. Guests learned about the SBDC’s free, confidential counseling for new and beginning entrepreneurs.

“We have coverage in Graham, Greenlee and Gila counties. We also feature the Dreambuilder Program that Freeport created and sponsored through the Thunderbird School of Global Management. It’s a free online program specifically designed for women who want to start and run their own business,” she said. Work force development network Arizona@Work also gave a presentation to the crowd about the services it provides to job seekers who need a leg up in today’s working world. “We’d love to have you come in any day. We’re there to help with resumes. We’re there to help with job postings. We like to work with anybody and everybody,” Arizona@Work’s Bobbie Reed told the crowd.

Greenlee County Supervisor David Gomez, who participated in the expo, spoke with the Copper Era about the challenges the county faces when it comes to economic development. “It doesn’t happen overnight, I can tell you that,” he said, “I’ve been here 10 years, and that’s one of the reasons I ran for office. We need more housing, and we need more businesses to return. That was my platform when I ran, and we’re still working at it. We’re not completing what we’re doing in leaps and bounds, but we have a lot of people who are interested at the point that we can see we’re going to have something happen very serious in this county.”

Gomez praised Economic Development Coordinator Akos Kovach and his assistant, Dee Porter, as the movers behind the Women’s Expo. It was an event for women from all walks of life, Kovach said. “This event was designed for ladies who’ve never been in the work force (to help them) get prepared for the work force,” Kovach said. “It’s for ladies who’ve been out of the work force for a while. Maybe they were taking care of children at home, and now they’re ready to step back in. We also have a lot of support here in financial support and people who can lend their expertise.” Kovach said he hopes to make the event an annual experience, possibly even holding an expo semiannually if there is demand.


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