Shanna Ballard is the Human Resources Director at Owensboro Community and Technical College. Take a look as she describes all of the fun activities available in Owensboro and the low cost of living!
Are you originally from Owensboro? If not, when did you move to Owensboro? Why did you move here?
I am originally from Sacramento, California. I began my Human Resources career in San Francisco where I worked for 25 years. My family moved to Owensboro in June 2013 after my husband retired. We chose Owensboro because it’s a beautiful location on the Ohio River, the friendly atmosphere, and low cost of living.
What is your favorite thing about living in Owensboro?
I can’t just pick one thing, but overall, it’s the people. The residence of Owensboro are down to earth, hard-working, and friendly people. It’s the fourth largest city in the state but it feels quaint, safe, and exciting with their creative arts and music.
What would you say to someone thinking about moving to Owensboro?
It’s a wonderful place to live! There is such a variety of boutiques, restaurants, theater and symphony options, museums, historical sites, and an overall family friendly community.
What has been the biggest surprise about Owensboro to you?
The biggest surprise to me is the low cost of living. Things like lower cost of groceries, fuel, housing, and entertainment is amazing. I recently attended a comedy show performed by Bill Engvall at a very reasonable price. If I were in the San Francisco/Sacramento marketplace, the same ticket price would have been twice as much, if not tripled. Living here allows me to live a lifestyle that I would have only dreamt about if I were living in San Francisco.
How do you enjoy spending your free time/weekends in Owensboro?
I have season tickets to the River Park Theater and enjoy fantastic performances. Shopping is one of my favorite past-times and Owensboro offers such a variety of boutiques, creative arts and craft shops, and fun antique stores. I have never been an antique shopper, but I find that the one-of-a-kind pieces around Owensboro to be quite special.
What changes have you seen in our region’s workforce throughout your career(s) here in Owensboro?
I recently worked in Human Resources for a local manufacturing company. It became apparent to me that we are very fortunate to have employees who are loyal with 20 to 30 years of employment. With impending retirements, comes new employment opportunities. I have observed a shift in hiring practices to include partnering with the local community college programs and other workforce solutions options. One hiring and training option was partnering with GoFame through Owensboro Community and Technical College. GoFame gives us the opportunity to work with individuals who attend college full-time and work for our company part-time. Once they finish their Associates Degree, they become full-time employees in a Trade’s position. This option allows our company a different approach to developing the next generation of skilled trade’s employees.
What advice would you give to a young professional looking for a career in Owensboro?
My advice to young professional is to evaluate the different work options in our community such as manufacturing, banking, agriculture, healthcare, education, etc. and see if you might have a good fit. Take the time to research and learn about the different company’s history, benefits, and hiring opportunities. Next, craft your resume and cover letter to demonstrate how you would be an asset for that company. Finally, compare Owensboro to others in the state or region to see how your potential earnings could stretch further for a successful career and lifestyle.