According to a 2015 survey by the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce, 27 percent of Kentucky employers find it difficult to find workers with adequate “soft” skills. These soft skills include everything from effective communication to one’s ability to work in a team environment.
Luckily for Kentucky, Junior Achievement (JA) of the Bluegrass’ JA Biz Town proved that the future of business looks bright. JA Biz Town focuses on teaching student’s entrepreneurship, financial literacy and work readiness through a hands-on experience that they will never forget.
The students begin their journey with their program volunteer, who teaches them the fundamentals of business. Once the 13 required lessons are completed, the students then move to the ultimate test when they are immersed into a simulated town (JA Biz Town) where they are in the driver’s seat. They choose a mayor through an election process, start their own businesses, learn how to professionally present themselves for jobs through mock interviews and even open bank accounts to deposit their paychecks. With their own checkbook, debit card and health card, students get an inside look at their future and gain a better understanding of their future roles in their community.
The students are not the only ones who get to have all of the fun. Local companies sponsor storefronts to help educate the future on how to own and operate a business on a day-to-day basis. Melissa Bacon, board chair for Fayette County Public Schools, stated, “ JA Biz Town / JA Finance Park is a very focused experience that we all believe will be a ‘game changer’ for our students and the entire Central Kentucky community. Our kids will enjoy an opportunity of a lifetime in which they can make adult decisions and actually learn first-hand how an economy works.”
As for the business owners struggling to find well-rounded workers, have no fear. Your future employee is here – at JA Biz Town.
Hailey, L. (2017, July 11). Workforce Development | A Living Lesson in Economics. Retrieved August 08, 2017, from http://www.lanereport.com/79338/2017/07/workforce-development-a-living-lesson-in-economics/