Bethel Students Team with City of McKenzie to Recruit Business

Natalie Potts

CARROLL COUNTY, Tenn.- City Leaders in McKenzie are partnered to recruit new businesses with students from Bethel University, Monday.

"If we work for the rest of the semester, put hours in and only bring in one company it will be worth it," said student Jamie Sulivan.

Unemployment in the city McKenzie is well above the state and national averages with a %13.1 unemployment in 2012. Mayor Jill Holland told WBBJ 7 Eyewitness News that the city is now eliciting the help of soon to be job seekers in the new age recruiting program XM Solutions. The program has already highlighted more than 13,000 contacts across the U.S. Students spent the day calling businesses that would do well to set up shop in McKenzie.

"This whole program is brand new, we are all learning. It's exciting, I try to look at us with realistic eyes and realize that we are small rural town in West Tennessee, we are competing with thousands of towns just like us," said Mayor Holland.

Organizers said this will be the first time in the state that a program of this kind was used to promote economic development in a community.

"To have people know who you are and want to support you work with you is a really good feeling," said student Ndidi Umezimwi.

The program's focus is to bring more jobs to McKenzie, while giving college students hands on recruiting experience. For every 45 hours worked, Bethel students will receive one college credit. Mayor Holland said there have been several students and volunteers who have expressed interest in the program.

"Students who are able to get intern experience under their belt when they are in college are more likely to get a paying job when they get out of school," said Susan Danton, Bethel College of Liberal Arts Academic Dean.

The Call center was build with donations. After students first day at work in the call center, nearly two dozen business leads were generated for McKenzie.


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