Career and Technical Education students in CMS had the opportunity to participate in the Students @ Work Initiative with Junior Achievement of the Central Carolinas.
The students received an opportunity to attend JA Biztown. JA Biztown combines lessons that teachers instruct with the students over a period of weeks. The lessons cover the role students play as citizens, workers and consumers in the community as related to the free enterprise system. Students learn the importance of citizenship, rights and responsibilities and voting within their communities. Students also learn about the free enterprise system and how to build money management skills.
Through a hands-on knowledge of economic concepts and banking practices the students are beginning to develop an understanding of basic business practices and responsibilities. The soft skills that are essential for successful participation in the world of work is also emphasized.1
At the culmination of the classroom learning, students attend a day long simulation at the JA Town Bank Opportunity Headquarters to apply what they have learned. While at the simulation the Mayor is inducted into office and in turn the Mayor introduces the citizens to the CEOs and the CFOs of the companies in the simulation.
The town becomes fully operational when the students “go to work”. The students visit the banks, operate the bank, iHeart radio station, and the hospital services, manage restaurants, write checks, calculate the salary of their employees, and purchase their needs and wants.
Why is JA beneficial to the CMS students? “Particularly in the Charlotte area, we know that there is an upward mobility challenge, and if we can provide learning at a young age to give students access to financial literacy, work-readiness, then that will affect their long-term trajectory.” said Dorothy Gorman, Junior Achievement of Central Carolinas president and CEO.2
Although the month of March is declared Students @ Work month, teachers may request attendance from September through May.