First IMPACT conference a success

Staff report

GREENVILLE — The first IMPACT Conference for Women in STEM2D Careers was held on Friday, April 1, 2022, at the Birchwood Training Center in Greenville. This educational event was a joint venture between the Darke County Chamber of Commerce and Darke County Economic Development. Sixty girls from schools all over Darke County were registered for the one-day event to let them learn about STEM2D (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics, Manufacturing, and Design) jobs available in the area.

“BASF connected with me last summer about doing an event to help connect girls with STEM careers. They do a similar day in Houston and wanted to reach out here in Greenville,” said Peggy Emerson, president of the Chamber of Commerce. “They were both our major sponsor and part of our planning team. IMPACT would not have happened without them.”

Other major sponsors were Edison State Community College, Painter Creek Solar Farm, and Whirlpool.

The keynote speaker was Heather Suerdieck of Inside/Out Coaching. She spoke with the attendees about connecting the dots in their life and career. During this first hour of the event, girls had the opportunity to ask questions about the path their careers might follow and realize that it might lead them to a very different place than what they had anticipated.

Girls broke into three groups, for three rotating sessions.

· Career Fair – Girls visited companies who are currently hiring STEM2D positions to learn about the types of jobs available locally. Participating Companies were: BASF, EverHeart Hospice, Edison State Community College, GNB Banking Centers, Klockner Pentaplast, Midmark Corporation, Mote & Associates, Inc., Tomorrow’s Technology Today, Wayne HealthCare, and Whirlpool Corporation

· Hands On – Girls got to try out some career options such as Medical Assisting with Edison State, Agriculture Technology with Central State Extension, Product Design Challenge with Whirlpool, and a Virtual Welder from Upper Valley Career Center – Adult Division.

· Lunch and Speed Interviews – Girls met with local women working in a variety of careers. Participating companies included Fitzwater Landscaping, Apex Clean Energy, Midmark Corp., OSU Extension, Ramco Electric Motors, and BASF.

“The IMPACT Conference provided a great opportunity for students and professionals to engage and learn from one another,” said Tamala Marley, Workforce Specialist for Darke County Economic Development. “We had many amazing young women in attendance! We look forward to growing and improving this event for the future.”

For updates and photos of the day, please follow the IMPACT Stem2d Facebook page at facebook.com/ImpactStem2dConference.