Junior Achievement welcomes students

Junior Achievement welcomes students, educators, and volunteers to its new facility in St. Paul

Saint Paul, MN (January 8, 2019) — Junior Achievement of the Upper Midwest (JAUM) proudly opened its doors to the public today. Students and educators from Highland Park Elementary and volunteers from U.S. Bank are the first to experience the JA BizTown simulation in JAUM’s new facility, the Junior Achievement James R. and Patricia Hemak Experiential Learning Center.

JA BizTown is a fully interactive free-market lab where students in grades 4-6 learn what it means to be responsible business leaders, consumers, workers, and citizens by participating in this simulated economy. Students perform specific jobs within 18 different shops, each of which offers a consumer product or service. Shops are sponsored by Minnesota’s leading companies representing their industry or profession.

JAUM purchased the 100-year-old building at 1745 University Ave W. in St. Paul, which has been redesigned and refurbished to meet its specific needs with the help of RSP Architects and Mortenson Construction. The new building enables JAUM to double the number of students served each year by its on-site experiential programs from 17,000 to 34,000. In addition to the expanded JA BizTown, the facility houses two additional experiential learning labs – JA Finance Park and a first-of-its-kind JA Innovation Incubator.

“Junior Achievement is a valuable partner in preparing today’s young people for a successful future,” said Saint Paul Mayor Melvin Carter. “The more we can encourage kids to stay in school and learn, the more prepared they will be to succeed in the workforce and contribute to our community. I am honored to welcome Junior Achievement to the City of Saint Paul.”

Students from throughout the metro area, as well as from greater Minnesota, will benefit from the programs housed in the new facility. The urban location and proximity to light-rail and bus transportation make the facility more convenient for students during in-school and after-school programs.

“We’re excited to be in a central location that is more easily accessible to our students, volunteers, and business partners,” said Gina Blayney, JAUM President & CEO. “Our larger building and state-of-the-art technology will make it possible for us to impact thousands more students each year with our experiential programs. We have built a 21st century learning center for our region.”

About Junior Achievement of the Upper Midwest
Junior Achievement of the Upper Midwest has been serving students in Minnesota, North Dakota and western Wisconsin since 1949. In 2019, the national organization, JA USA, celebrates its 100th anniversary. During the 2017-2018 school year we reached more than 165,500 students in grades K-12 with financial literacy, career and college readiness, and entrepreneurship education. Our programs are implemented by more than 10,000 volunteers, mostly business professionals, who share their skills and experience to motivate and inspire students to succeed.