Junior Achievement Discovery Center
Bringing a Proven Model to Rochester
To meet our region's most pressing needs—including a lack of skilled workers in a variety of industries and unprecedented generational poverty—we're bringing two of Junior Achievement's most impactful, proven programs to our area.
Our vision of the Junior Achievement Discovery Center: a state-of- the-art learning lab in the historic "Building 8" Firehouse at Eastman Business Park, home to JA BizTown® and JA Finance Park®.
How it Works
Each program encompasses 13 lessons in the classroom, followed by a visit to this "mini-city" with replica businesses and organizations that make up our community and workforce. The JA Discovery Center will house at least 15 different employer-sponsored storefronts to ensure economic and workforce relevance to our region. Classroom lessons are put to the real-life test, as a student becomes a citizen in this simulated economy.
Community volunteers help 5th-grade students become active members of the economy as employees, working in one of the in-demand industries in our region:
- Producing and selling products and services
- Borrowing money
- Hiring employees
- Analyzing an income statement
- Marketing their businesses
Students also spend time as consumers and citizens—making personal buying decisions with their paychecks, electing a mayor, and more.
JA Finance Park®
Middle or high school students take on a new life, with a career, credit score, debt, family, and financial obligations. They use electronic devices and receive guidance from volunteer role models to make the financial decisions that support the lives they envision.
Impact on Students
Data from third-party evaluations shows that JA BizTown® and JA Finance Park® students notably outperform non-participating peers— and demonstrate a significant increase in overall financial, workforce, and entrepreneurial knowledge, along with positive changes in attitudes and behaviors.