The Community First Career Exploration and Financial Literacy Education Center in Appleton held a dedication and open house on Wednesday, January 22. The Center is a first of its kind in the country with Junior Achievement education offered on a technical college campus.
A partnership between Junior Achievement of Wisconsin and Fox Valley Technical College, with lead support from Community First Credit Union, the Center will offer students in grades 4 through 12, career awareness opportunities with a focus on STEM-related occupations and financial literacy learning. It will host two of Junior Achievement’s premiere programs, JA BizTown and JA Finance Park, which are also provided at JA Kohl’s Education Center in Milwaukee, and the Fox Valley Technical College Career Exploration program.
Junior Achievement programs, JA BizTown and JA Finance Park, will provide students real-world experiences of living in a community with life scenarios where they will get a job, manage a budget, purchase goods and services, vote and develop a savings plan.
The Fox Valley Tech Career Exploration program will provide authentic, age appropriate, hands-on and minds-on experiences in different career clusters such as healthcare, business, manufacturing and IT. Those activities are designed to introduce young learners to in-demand careers throughout the region.
The Center is set up as a simulated city for students, Miron Town Square, with these businesses: Amcor, Bergstrom Automotive, The Boldt Company, City Hall, Community First Credit Union, David Nelson Media Center, Fox Valley Tech Commons, Kimberly-Clark, Miller Electric Mfg. Co., Pieper Electric Inc., We Energies and Wisconsin Public Service, and the YMCA. Some of the immersive experiences for students include a virtual reality test drive at Bergstrom, healthcare screenings at the YMCA, and an augmented reality welding system at Miller Electric.
“You can’t be what you can’t see,” says Michael Frohna, president of Junior Achievement of Wisconsin. Our partnership with these local businesses in our simulated town, will let students know that these are some of the careers available for real, lifesustaining jobs.”
“Our strategic career exploration initiatives are built around giving young students a cost-effective, seamless pathway from education to a profession,” says Steve Meyer, manager of STEM education and development at FVTC. “This new center will bring to life vital skills and experiences to best prepare our future leaders.”
The Center is expected to support 15,000 students from throughout Northeast Wisconsin each year. To schedule a time for your school’s class to visit or to volunteer for a day at the Center, please contact Brooke Tabbert from Junior Achievement at firstname.lastname@example.org or 414-577-3816 or Jennifer Fuerst from FVTC at email@example.com or 920-560-1439.