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McCarty, Smith speaks to Bell County Chamber

The first Bell County Chamber of Commerce Soup and Sandwich was a great success according to director Sheila Durham.

“We had an excellent turnout,” she said. “We had great speakers with information that will be useful to the businesses here in Bell County and businesses that may move into our county.”

Durham is very excited to continue the Soup and Sandwich series in 2020 that coincides with the Chambers 20/20 vision.

“We are very excited to introduce our 20/20 vision to chamber members and would love to see more businesses join and be a part of our vision moving forward,” Durham explained.

The speakers for the first Soup and Sandwich series were Ashley McCarty of the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce WorkForce Center and Barbara Smith of Eastern Kentucky Employment Program.

McCarty shared statistics on the opioid problem that plagues the Kentucky workforce and what employers can do to help their employees reach a point of recovery.

“We have to be recovery centered and create a positive atmosphere for those employees who need our help,” McCarty said. “We have to break the stigma and begin talking about this in our workforce.”

Smith is a job entry and retention support specialist who works to place people into jobs if they are in recovery and makes sure that they retain that job throughout recovery.

“Thanks to everyone that came to the Bell County Soup & Sandwich today at the Middleboro Country Club,” Durham said in closing. “Special thanks to the following people and organizations, Emily Ayers for connecting our guest speakers, Ashley McCarty and Barbara Smith. Food prepared by Food City and sponsored by the city of Middleboro.

“Thanks to new member Crater of Hope board members Jeannie Redmond and Pam Sulfridge for helping with the cleanup. And the Middleboro Country Club for the hospitality on the use of the dining hall and Mayor Rick Nelson for helping with the organization of the event.”

The next Soup and Sandwich Series will be announced by Durham and she encourages businesses to get involved.

If you would like more information on the Bell County Chamber of Commerce you can contact Durham by calling (606) 248-1075.