JA BizTown Gets Renovated, New Local Businesses Join Student-Size Town
By Lindsay Hansen -
Friday Sep 09, 2022
Students across the Valley and state heading back to school this month and nonprofit Junior Achievement of Arizona recently completed a renovation at its JA BizTown, a student-sized town built to engage 4th, 5th and 6th graders in personal and business finances through simulation-based learning.
The town features more than 40 local and national businesses where students can experience economic concepts, learn workplace skills, manage personal and business finances, and more. Meta (formerly Facebook), Maricopa Community Colleges, Bell Bank, Alliance Bank, Rosendin Electric, Chompies, Freddyâ€™s and American Subcontractors Association are new faces in JA BizTown this school year.
Students first take part in a series of classroom lessons where they learn about working in and being consumers in todayâ€™s world. They create business plans, calculate operating costs, design a marketing campaign, apply for jobs, vote for city officials, and explore careers. Then, they put their skills to work by becoming employees for a day in one of our two JA BizTowns, on-site learning facilities that feature more than 40 different businesses and industries.
â€œWeâ€™re very excited about our new business partners,â€ said Anne Landers, vice president, strategy impact. â€œThe students love getting a chance to work in a real town, both with brands they recognize and ones that increase their future career awareness, and apply the skills they are learning in the classroom.
During their time at JA BizTown, students operate a simulated economy and take on the challenge of running businesses. They get hands-on experience as both employees and consumers, paying rent, taxes and utilities, buying advertising from the radio station, conducting TV interviews, purchasing insurance, depositing paychecks and buying other businessâ€™ products, handling customer service, and more.
â€œThe students get to see what itâ€™s like to be an adult, making tough decisions about where to spend money and understanding the responsibilities of being an employee or business owner,â€ said Landers. â€œOur partners in JA BizTown do such a great job bringing the experience to life and helping kids imagine whatâ€™s possible for their futures.â€
JAâ€™s research shows:
Â· 4 in 5 alumni report that JA played an important role in choosing their career path
Â· 53% of JA alumni have started or owned a business
Â· JA students graduate at a higher rate than the AZ graduation rate
Junior Achievement plans to have 250 schools from across the state visit BizTown during the 2022-2023 school year. If your school is interested, please contact Codie Cancellieri, JAâ€™s Director of Experiential Education ([email protected] / 480.377.8500).