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Award Recipients of Junior Achievement’s 2018 National Leadership Conference

This year’s 2018 National Leadership Conference (NLC) took place in Milwaukee, Wisconsin as Junior Achievement of Wisconsin served as host to Junior Achievement (JA) associates from all over the country. Throughout the week-long event, JA employees and sponsors came together as friends and business colleagues. Concluding the week were awards given to JA associates who have displayed dedication, excellence, and inspiration within the Junior Achievement organization.

 

Charles R. Hook Award

This prestigious award recognizes the Junior Achievement USA President whose professionalism and performance best represents the core values and ideals of Junior Achievement over the past year.

This year, the recipient of this honorable award was Tera Norris, (pictured right) President of Junior Achievement of Lincoln.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Karl Flemke Pioneer Achievement Award

This award recognizes significant achievements and contributions of first time JA Area Presidents with not less than two and not more than four years of service in their current position.  

The recipient of the Karl Flemke Pioneer Achievement Award for 2018 was Drew Martin (pictured left) of Junior Achievement of South Central Kentucky (Bowling Green, KY).

 

 

 

 

 

JA MVP Awards (Model Values Professional) 

This award was established to reinforce the importance of living our values. JA associates must exemplify values and behaviors that provide the model for the students we serve and assure JA a place as a business to be respected in every community where JA has a presence.

The two (2) distinguished recipients of the 2018 JA MVP award were Erin Kurt (pictured right) of Junior Achievement of Eastern Iowa (Cedar Rapids) and Lisa Frye (not pictured) of Junior Achievement USA (Colorado Springs, CO).

 

 

Rising Star Awards

The Rising Star award was created in 2004 to recognize secondary JA staff professionals who have excelled in their role and are considered “Rising Stars” of the organization.  These individuals demonstrate a commitment to the success of JA and accept increasingly important leadership roles within the JA organization. 

The recipients of the 2018 Rising Star Awards were as follows:

Callie Tincher of JA of the Bluegrass in Lexington, KY

 Ryan Purser of JA of Southeast Texas in Houston

Alison Gottsch-Walton of JA of Lincoln

Alicia Fusco of JA of New Jersey          

 

We congratulate our fellow colleagues on their exceptional work within our organization.

The Impact of Jobless Teens this Summer

Jobless Teens

When you think back to your first job, what were some major life takeaways? Was it more than a paycheck that filled your gas tank? What about your professional growth or potential career path?

Unfortunately, many teens are struggling to find a summer job. Andy Challenger, vice president at Challenger Grey reported that teen hiring is expected to be slightly lower in 2018 than in 2017. Which begs the question—why?

One possible reason is that employers are looking for potential, more ideal, employees that have more experience and education. Yet, how is a teen expected to gain work knowledge if he or she is not even being considered?

The once plentiful job positions that teens traditionally held during summer breaks are now being filled by these “ideal employees”. Being beat out of summer employment has resulted in some perceived benefits though.

 MarketWatch reported that teens are actually taking summer classes and putting in community service to benefit their upcoming college applications. While ensuring that their near future is covered, teens are missing on crucial long-term skills that they could be building.  Professor and director of the Center for Labor Markets and Policy at Drexel University Paul Harington commented, “Work is a strong complement for going to school. It predicts improved employment experiences and higher wages and reduces the likelihood of future unemployment.”

What Teens Can Do

One of the best ways for teens to ensure they are qualified for a summer job is to gain experience. While the experience may not involve pay, it may result in being considered for a job in the future.  

Through volunteering, teens will not only have the opportunity to create a professional network while doing good in their community, but they can include the skills gained and projects managed on their resumes.

If you’re a teen, or a parent of a teen, without a summer job, look into your local charity organizations. You may find that by giving your time, you will receive an invaluable gift for your future -- work experience. For tips on how to apply and interview for that next job, visit the My Resume section of Junior Achievement’s JA My Way.

4 Employee Benefits of Corporate Volunteerism

Employee Volunteering Benefits

What will community volunteerism do for your work family?

America’s Charities reports that the average business turnover rate in all U.S. industries is 15.1% with those making under $75,000 or less a year, costing $15,000 to be replaced. That is hard-earned money that is being taken out of the budget to find someone who may or may not be the right fit for the position. In this era of hiring, it is more important than ever to invest in your employees from an individual AND work-community standpoint. The best way to knock out these two standpoints with one stone? Volunteering! Check out the following benefits volunteering has on your company and on those who make up your business.

Improved Connectivity and Performance

According to a PwC study, 10% to 15% of the world workforce reports feeling unsatisfied within their workplace dynamic. In turn, only 4 in 10 employees are planning on spending at least another year at their current jobs. Yet, through volunteering, employees have the ability to feel more “connected” to their co-workers and executive teams. A large component of employee performance is not only one’s passion for his or her work, but also an environment that harnesses challenges. Volunteering provides employees with an opportunity to impact their local community by coming together with their professional family. It is with challenges in a group setting that connectivity is formed and therefore provides a foundation that an employee feels committed to. In fact, committed employees have been found to put in 57% more effort into their job and are 87% less likely to resign.

Investing in Skill Building

By encouraging your employees’ input in volunteer efforts for your company, you are providing them with the ability to take on leadership roles that in turn build experience. Through various community efforts, employees are moved from their comfort zones to work with others to solve challenges in order to achieve goals. Collaboration, self-awareness, and leadership skills are just a few of the many skills that are exercised through volunteering. Professional skill-building should not be limited to those looking to be hired, skillsets should also be harnessed within one’s work environment.

Attract Future Employees

A Deloitte study found that almost 9 in 10 (89%) employed Americans believe that companies that encourage volunteer activities offer a better workplace than companies that do not. Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) can not only serve to benefit your company when seeking employees, but it can also serve to benefit your sales. A 2017 Cone Communications Survey found that 87% of Americans will purchase a product from a company advocating an issue they care about. If making a difference can sell your product or service, why wouldn’t it sell your company to a possible job candidate?

Harnessing Charitable Giving

In this day and age, Millennials make up 1 in 3 labor force participants in the United States, making them the largest labor force generation that America has ever seen.  Further research conducted by Cone Communications, revealed 2 out of 3 millennials will not consider taking a job if the company does not have strong CSR values and 9 in 10 reported they do a better job in CSR-friendly environments.

Final Thoughts

With all the benefits of volunteering, one thing is for certain -- providing volunteer opportunities not only helps your company in the eyes of potential candidates and consumers, it also fulfills the professional desire in your employees to make an impact in their local communities.

Research reveals boys' interest in STEM careers declining; girls' interest unchanged

New 2018 research conducted on behalf of Junior Achievement and Ernst & Young LLP (EY) illustrates how in just one year after first being surveyed, high school age teens’ career ambitions have shifted further away from careers in STEM and the arts and how more 13-17-year-old students are expecting to take out loans to help pay for college.

  • In a significant drop, 24% of boys want a STEM career, down from 36% in 2017; girls’ interest remains unchanged at 11%, year-over-year.
  • Among girls and boys, desires for careers in the arts dropped from 18% to 13%.
  • The percentage of teens expecting to take out a student loan increased from 33% to 45%.

Career choices that have risen in popularity include the medical and dental fields, as well as public service, illustrating that what kids find most appealing about their dream job is that they are “good at it” and can help people.

  • Careers in medical and dental fields increased from 15% to 19%, with girls far more likely to choose this path.
  • Interest in careers in public service increased from 7% to 10% overall.
  • Starting one’s own business (8%) and careers in business (7%) remained the same.

According to kids, their parents still hold the top spot in terms of who or what influences their choice of dream job. Parents’ influence, in fact, increased from 19% to 28% since last year. Societal influences such as social media declined from 15% to 8%. Other sources of inspiration include teachers, courses, volunteering and extra-curricular activities.  

“Teens today report they are leaning toward jobs that highlight their capabilities, as well as careers that offer altruistic outcomes,” said Jack Kosakowski, CEO & President of Junior Achievement USA. “As parents, educators, mentors and counselors, we need to continue to give students the skills to become more proficient in the areas in which they need to advance and grow, as well as show them how all types of careers provide opportunities to benefit society. JA volunteers, who come from all fields, help students make these types of connections about what they are learning in school and what they need and want to succeed at work and life.”

The survey data implies that teens today are viewing the economy as improving. One year ago when this same Junior Achievement-EY survey was conducted, the percentage of teens who were changing career plans based on the economy was 52%. Today, that number has decreased to just 40%. Fewer teens also plan to get a job and go to school at the same time – 22% this year vs. 30% in 2017. However, some data contradicts teens’ awareness of economic conditions.

  • The number of teens who have taken a financial readiness class decreased from 33% to 28%.
  • 81% of teens would take a work/financial readiness class if it was offered to them.
  • The percentage of teens that have a bank account decreased to 52% from 59%.
  • 43% of teens expect their parents to pay for college, up from 32% in 2017.

“With teens beginning to join the workforce and looking ahead to future careers, the timing is right to work with them to build and strengthen financial literacy, entrepreneurship and work readiness skills,” said Gary Kozlowski, Partner, Ernst & Young LLP, who leads a network of EY leaders serving on more than 40 local JA boards across the US, Canada and the Caribbean. “I was surprised to see a reduced interest in STEM careers, which are taking on larger and more important roles in the transformative age in which we are living. Together, EY member firms and JA can team to help strengthen these critical skills for the workforce of tomorrow.”

Other Data Points

  • 88% of 13-17-year-olds know what kind of job they want after graduation.
  • The two skills kids would like to learn most to prepare for their dream jobs include technology and relationship building.

Methodology

This report presents the findings of ORC International’s Youth CARAVAN survey conducted among a sample of 1,000 13-17-year olds.  This survey was live from February 27 to March 6, 2018.                             

Respondents for this survey are selected from among those who have volunteered to participate in online surveys and polls.  Because the sample is based on those who initially self-selected for participation, no estimates of sampling error can be calculated.  All sample surveys and polls may be subject to multiple sources of error, including, but not limited to sampling error, coverage error, error associated with nonresponse, error associated with question wording and response options.

Q & A with JA College Student Volunteer

College Student Makes Difference with Young Students

As Zachary Robles walks on to shake the president’s hand of Kent University, his smile is not only for being the first generation to complete a Bachelor’s Degree in Management, but for the pride he feels for having made an impact in his local community.

Managing full class schedules and contemplating future career paths, Robles made time to teach Junior Achievement programs in his local community. JA wanted to know how does a driven, hard-working college student fit JA into his life. This is what we found out!

 

JA: First off, congratulations on graduating from Kent University! What an accomplishment! With all of the extra-curricular options on campus, what made you choose JA?

Robles: Thank you for the best wishes on graduation. I’ve been through a lot and it still amazes me that I had the opportunity to complete something that hasn't been done in my family before. I'm the first generation to complete a Bachelor's Degree in Management. 

Simply put, I have pride in the next generation. I have tons of experience working with today's youth, from being a counselor to working as a mentor, along with 3 years of working with Junior Achievement. My main goal with doing Junior Achievement: Showing kids that it is important to make smart choices, because before they know it, they will be where I am at. I love to share my knowledge of business (and life) with them and if I can guide at least one kid to be successful, I can go to bed happy. 

 

JA: Wow! We love knowing young professionals, like yourself, believe in our mission! How do you feel the curriculum benefited and resonated with the students?

Robles: With the curriculum, I am beyond pleased with the resulting product Junior Achievement established. From my experience, my students always looked forward to each lesson, and they asked a TON of questions.

This type of engagement is what we need. Outside of the educational setting, I always have parents/teachers come up to me when their child recognizes me and say thanks for my work with the program. To sum up: This program, in my professional opinion, is very successful here in northeast Ohio. 

 

JA: As you have been a volunteer with JA for quite a while, do you have a favorite lesson or a favorite student engagement hack?

Robles: From my experience, I always LOVED lesson 4. (The Debit Card/Credit Card Savvy Shopper). Every time I teach this lesson, I actually make an amendment with the lesson and have the class work in groups. Here, I encourage the groups to work together for the answers, as I like to challenge that if each group gets X amount of questions right, I will reward them with donuts personally hand-delivered from me. This gets everyone excited and engaged. 

During the next period, I will review the material with them and once they answer the last question correctly, I like to "trick" them to think they got it wrong by walking out of the room for a second and coming back in with donuts as a reward. My teachers I was partnered with love this, as it adds a little comical twist to the curriculum. 

I can go on about how wonderful this program is. I will go even as far to say that if I am still in the area for the next couple of years, I will continue to teach it. Junior Achievement does an excellent job, I can't praise the organization enough. 

 

From all of us at Junior Achievement, congratulations Zachary for graduating and thank you for giving your time to set youth up for success in your local community. We cannot wait to hear about your accomplishments that lie ahead!

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