The Paducah Area Chamber of Commerce is hosting two webinars this week, one relating to the Kentucky Small Business Development Center and another on the summer employment and internship program for college students.

• On Wednesday, March 10, at 9 a.m., Aaron Harned will be introduced as the new KSBDC business coach. For small businesses needing assistance or anyone interested in starting a business, this webinar could answer many questions.

Harned will be joined on the webinar by Chris Wooldridge, director of the Center for Economic and Entrepreneurial Development at Murray State University. The virtual event is open to the public and will give both existing and start-up businesses information about resources available and training offered.

Register to attend the event via Zoom at The virtual event will also be livestreamed on WPSD Local 6’s Facebook page.

Harned, a Paducah native, joined the Kentucky SBDC team in November 2020. He has a bachelor’s degree in agriculture from Western Kentucky University. He serves as a business coach for 10 counties in western Kentucky.

The Kentucky SBDC has been assisting the commonwealth’s small-business community since 1981. Through its statewide growing network of centers, and an experienced and knowledgeable staff, the Kentucky SBDC provides business coaching and training services that help existing business owners and potential entrepreneurs succeed.

• On Thursday, March 11, at 9 a.m., the chamber is hosting a summer internship webinar in partnership with the West Kentucky Workforce Board and Four Rivers SHRM. It will cover details about how to find students, what to offer, pay options, plus more.

Facilitated by Crystal Balentine, senior vice president and human resources officer at FNB Bank, the one-hour webinar will provide employers the steps for starting a program, including who to contact at local campuses and how to successfully recruit students across majors and degree programs.

Businesses can also learn about the differences between summer employment and internships.

Panelists include Hannah Carroll, internship coordinator at Murray State University Career Services; Marlo Rhodes, career services manager at West Kentucky Community & Technical College; and Ben Stinnett, recruitment and career services officer at the UK College of Engineering Paducah Campus.

Internships connect employers with potential talent before they enter the job market. Internships are a great way to showcase your company, as well as gain an extra set of temporary hands during busy summer months.

To help facilitate with businesses finding workers, the chamber is seeking information from local businesses and industries about what they are offering as summer internships and work opportunities in the Paducah/McCracken County area and region, and will compile a list of job opportunities which will be distributed to the career services departments at area colleges and universities and available on the chamber’s website for distribution to college students who are interested in summer employment.

The survey is for chamber members and non-chamber members. To receive a copy of the survey, let the chamber know about summer job opportunities, or register for the webinar, go to or email the chamber at

NOTE: Corrected at 12:23 a.m. March 9, 2021, to denote that the seminars are this week.

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