Entrepreneurial Program Expands Again

Friday, February 17, 2012

BUSINESS: Junior Achievement

By Bob Boughner
Junior Achievement of Southwestern Ontario, which has operated in Chatham-Kent and Sarnia Lambton for more than 40 years, has expanded to include Windsor-Essex.
Barb Smith, president and CEO of JA of SWO, told Chatham Rotarians Wednesday between 2,300 and 2,500 students are expected to enrol in the various JA programs in 2012.
She said the cost-free programs are aimed at educating and inspiring young people about business and economics.
"The JA experience helps young people discover leadership, entrepreneurial and workforce readiness skills so they can achieve their highest potential and future success,'' she said.
Smith said youth who participate in JA programs have the opportunity to gain insight and experience, which can help them understand the business practices that influence their daily lives.
The Rotary Club donated $4,400 to JA for its 2012 programming.
Smith said by helping youth stay in school, encouraging entrepreneurship and teaching financial literacy skills, JA creates an annual return to society of $45 for every $1 spent.
She said more than 75% of achievers cite JA programs as having a significant impact in developing their financial literacy skills, decision making skills, analytic capabilities and business sense.
"More than 65% of achievers have said participation in JA programs has had a significant impact on staying in school and enrolling in post-secondary education,'' she said.
Smith told Rotarians that efforts are underway to establish a JA agricultural club in Chatham-Kent.
She said six young people were enrolled in the pilot program last year, the first of its kind by JA in Canada.