WestRock and Junior Achievement launch simulation center for students

WestRock Company (formerly RockTenn and MVW) is partnering with Junior Achievement of Georgia, to provide a new learning experience designed to enhance Gwinnett students' financial literacy and build skills for personal and professional success. WestRock will support the development and implementation of JA BizTown, one of two interactive venues within the JA Discovery Center at Gwinnett. The center will open this month at 1333 Old Norcross Road in Lawrenceville in time for the 2015-2016 school year and will serve more than 25,000 sixth and eighth grade students.

The experience begins with 18 in-class lessons of JA provided curriculum, then culminates with a day at JA BizTown presented by Cisco. The simulation creates an opportunity for students to experience an interactive economy and take on the role of employee, taxpayer and consumer. During the visit to JA BizTown students receive job assignments and work in teams at their assigned business. By the end of the simulation each student completes a day's work, develops a personal budget and makes purchasing decisions.

"We are honored to support Junior Achievement in this innovative outreach to the youth of the Gwinnett community," said Steve Voorhees, chief executive officer of WestRock. "RockTenn and MWV have both long been committed to JA, and we look forward to continuing our support as WestRock. We believe leadership and career readiness begins at an early age, and we're proud to be a part of bringing this opportunity to local students."

The interactive simulation provides sixth grade students the opportunity to not only learn about finances and careers, but to transform into adults for one day, becoming the sole decision maker and taking ownership of their professional success.

"Today there is an increasing issue with businesses finding qualified entry-level employees. By giving students the opportunity to participate in a hands-on business simulation we are providing them with not only a frame of reference as to what it means to be an employee, but also giving them a glimpse into what their future can entail if they work hard to achieve their dream," said Jack Harris, president and CEO of Junior Achievement of Georgia. "Thanks to partnerships with the corporate community and local school system, JA is primed to provide the curriculum, tools and experiential facility to prepare more students to excel at the business of life."

Georgia's first JA BizTown opened in August 2013 at Junior Achievement's Chick-fil-A Foundation Discovery Center. Since then thousands have benefited from the program. JA and its partners are proud to bring this program to the students of Gwinnett. To find out more about JA BizTown visit Junior Achievement of Georgia.