VenangoREADY Event Brings Educators and Businesses Together

There is no conversation we have more often than the one about finding employees. Everyone is talking about it – small businesses, manufacturers, healthcare providers and our elected officials. And we’ve been talking about it for the last two decades. Parents and educators continue to encourage our youth to be thoughtful and prepared for careers, while employers struggle to find enough workers, the “right” workers, or in some cases, both.

The Chamber often plays the role of community convenors and VenangoREADY seeks to continue bridging the gap between our educators and local businesses, to ensure a clearer message about the opportunities that are available throughout Venango County.

For the third year, the Venango Chamber hosted a VenangoREADY Educator Event, with local businesses providing information about the career opportunities they have now and in the future. In a career fair format, educators from all levels, preschool to higher education, were invited to attend.

Along with learning of the many businesses and industries that exist here, teachers could explore who might offer a business tour, in-class presentations or have a willingness to offer a student job shadow.

Megan Sternagel, the Branch Manager of Northwest Bank in Oil City, shared that it is often assumed that a career in banking demands a college degree. This is not the case, as there are many positions that only require a high school diploma.

And while many jobs, in banking and otherwise, require that an employee be 18 years old, that birthday often comes quickly after graduation. Students frequently change their plans and need to be aware of the many opportunities. And we have many local employers who will hire students while still in high school, for summer, after school, or co-op positions.

By holding events like the VenangoREADY Educator event, we hope to encourage familiarity with our businesses and with the characteristics that they are looking for in future employees. The 6 Attributes of a VenangoREADY worker continue to be confirmed as the best prerequisites for success:
• Communication
• Work Ethic
• Teamwork
• Tactfulness & manners
• Critical Thinking & Problem Solving
• Understanding Supervision & the Wordle of Work

If you are an employer who wants to play an active role in sharing the message of opportunity in our region, or you are an educator interested in learning more about our local businesses, contact Kat Thompson and/or subscribe to our VenangoREADY monthly email at

Thank you to the Cranberry High School Journalism students who attended to take photos and write an article about the event. The article and photos can be found here:

This article was published in the Venango Chamber’s April 2024 VenangoWorks! Newsletter.

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