This May, 50 employees in Longview, TX, and Milwaukee, WI, became teachers for a day in support of Junior Achievement's "JA in a Day" program. Junior Achievement is the world's largest organization dedicated to educating students about workforce readiness, entrepreneurship, and financial literacy through experiential, hands-on programs.
In Longview, employees taught nearly 200 fourth and fifth graders at Ware Elementary School the “Our Regions” and “Our Nation” lessons. “We are fortunate to have a partner school, Ware Elementary, whose principal and teachers are totally invested in JA in a Day for their students” commented Brenda Hunt, Benefits and Wellness Specialist - Wheel Loaders.
This year marked the eighth year in which Joy Global volunteers taught over 500 K5 through eighth grade students at Morgandale Elementary in Milwaukee. “It was rewarding to realize that we have been such a positive role model to the students of Morgandale for so long. Each year the students anticipate the Joy Global volunteers, looking forward to who they will see in the classroom and what lessons they will learn” shared Cathy Stagmer, Global Community Relations Manager.
Supporting the “JA in a Day” program perfectly aligns with who Joy Global is as a company. The program provides an opportunity to positively influence the next generation while raising awareness about how our families, communities, businesses and world are interconnected.
Bart Holland, a machinist in Longview, explained “JA’s curriculum lines up with the way Joy Global, as well as any company, conducts business. From the use of resources to advertising, supply issues and problem solving, to customer interaction the JA curriculum is a well thought out basic blueprint that can be used as a starting point to inspire anyone with an entrepreneurial spirit to set a goal and give them the tools to achieve it”. Adding, “I would like to think that the students see that no matter how small or big a business is they all operate in the same way, just on different scales. That a two-person landscaping company uses the same processes to operate as a company the size of Joy Global so that they never limit themselves on what they think can achieve. My sincere hope is that each student realizes that the only thing that can hold them back is themselves.”
The impact of JA’s curriculum and the experience of the day is far-reaching. Students not only learn from the planned lessons but they learn from the experiences of the volunteers.
Matt Reiland, a manager in Advanced Automation in Milwaukee shared, “It’s important to me to connect with young students to make sure they know what is like to have a job after school, what they should be looking for, how much school it will entail and to be someone they can ask any question of that is outside of their normal teachers and parents they interface to.”
Employees return year after year because the volunteer experience with Junior Achievement is personally rewarding and educational.
“I love working with my fellow co-workers in a different setting other than my day to day task. I have had the opportunity to partner with individuals from various departments and actually build relationships with engineers, welders and other workers from many areas of the facility that I would normally not be able to interact with” said Susan Glover, a Cost Accountant in Longview.
Avery Rainey, a Trade Shows, Events ＆ Promotions Specialist in Milwaukee shared, “I gained a better understanding of our communities in Milwaukee and the cultural diversity that is found within. JA in a day has opened my eyes to what exists in a day in the life of a young student in Milwaukee.”
Joy Global is committed to supporting educational programs like Junior Achievement that help inspire today’s youth to become responsible, respectful professionals in the workplace and society. Junior Achievement is a global organization with programs not only throughout the US, but around the world including Canada, Chile, China, Russia and South Africa.