CANTON, OH (August 31, 2009) - ystark!, the Canton Regional Chamber of Commerce's young professional organization, announces that the ystark! Fellowship Program has begun and two excellent candidates, Ethan Steigert and Mark Wagner, have been selected for the inaugural Fellowship Program. Participating companies for the pilot program year include Aultman Health Foundation and The Repository.

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Steigert is a Malone University Graduate with a B.A. in Business Administration. He was selected for the Student Ambassador to Malone Career Development Advisory Council, Dean's List, and Malone University Resident Advisor. Steigert had several volunteer activities, including fundraising for Love the Children, participating in the McKinley Park Clean-Up, volunteering for First Fridays through ArtsinStark, and others. Steigert will complete his Fellowship with Aultman Health Foundation.

Wagner is also a Malone University graduate with a bachelor's in business administration. He was on the Dean's List, had a 3.65 cumulative G.P.A., and received both the J. Walter and Emma Malone Scholarship and Rick and Joyce Hannon Scholarship. He participated in a variety of on-campus activities, including the Financial Management Association, and was a volunteer for the Income Tax Assistance Program. Wagner will complete his Fellowship with The Repository.

"The Repository is proud to be a participating company during this inaugural year of the ystark! Fellowship Program," said Kevin Kampman, publisher of The Repository. "We were impressed by all of the candidates that applied to be a part of this program and were happy to welcome Mark Wagner to The Repository family this summer. Mark has been an intuitive, outgoing and hard-working employee. We're happy to have him as a team member of our Advertising and Marketing Departments."

Sue Olivera, vice president of human resources for Aultman Health Foundation, mirrored Kampman's sentiment: "Collaborating with area higher-learning institutions and the Chamber was very important for us to find the best-of-the-best candidates for our inaugural fellowship. We are excited to engage a young professional like Ethan in the many aspects of our vertically integrated structure. We needed someone that would adapt to new assignments and roles quickly, as well as share our values and dedication to the community."

Both of the host companies will invest two years with their fellows, offering them meaningful and challenging work assignments and the opportunity to work on innovative projects. The host companies will also be required to support the Fellow in community service projects, volunteer commitments and attendance at ystark! and Canton Regional Chamber of Commerce events. Senior management is required to stay abreast of the Fellow's progress and provide progress evaluations. By hosting a fellow, the companies will have direct access to emerging talent, and a way to capture employees who have the most knowledge and skills of emerging technologies, practices and processes.

"The mission of the ystark! Fellowship program is to retain the county's best and brightest college graduates through an organized career program. We want to promote the leadership qualities of the participants and root them in the region," said Aimee Belden, director of ystark!

The program is a unique opportunity for area undergraduate students who are searching for their first salaried position post-graduation. The Fellowship Program is intended to offer an immersion experience for participants - a full-time, salaried, high-exposure work opportunity that offers the benefits of professional development, community service involvement and networking opportunities.

"It's exciting that such high-profile, leading companies in Stark County are supporting this program," said Belden. "It speaks to the need to attract and retain sharp, capable young professionals to this area."