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BizTown in Our Town

May 16, 2018

When members of Textron System’s Young Professionals Association (YPA) learned about a fully simulated, interactive town that teaches students to make a connection between what they learn in school and the real world, they were eager to learn how they could help. At the beginning of April, twelve members from the YPA came together to participate in Junior Achievement (JA) BizTown.

Junior Achievement of Central Maryland hosts JA BizTown as part of a program that combines in-class lessons with participation in a hands-on simulated community. At JA BizTown, students receive a new persona through a profile that includes personal factors such as job, income and marital status. The students take these factors into account to create a monthly budget and make decisions regarding housing, transportation, savings and much more. The simulated town and persona allows the students to discuss the role they play in their community and develop a basic understanding of the free enterprise system as they learn basic business practices and budgeting.

YPA volunteers monitored various business around JA BizTown, such as the bank, newspaper, engineering firm and city hall. They worked with the students to teach them about the importance of their jobs and the impact their jobs have in their community. Participant Taylor Petit shared, “It was great for members of YPA to come together in the community and mentor students using our real-life experiences. It was rewarding to watch each students’ enthusiasm as they became an adult for a day and ran their own businesses.”  

Volunteer Neda Khozein added, “JA BizTown was an opportunity not only to give back to the community, but a chance to network with Systems employees across different departments and functions. It was motivating and rewarding to engage in volunteerism on behalf of Textron Systems.” This one of the first formalized volunteer events in which teams took advantage of Textron Systems’ new Illness and Personal Time (IPT) policy. In alignment with Textron Systems’ community focus, employees may now use their IPT benefits to volunteer as individuals or with teams.

Learn more about Junior Achievement of Maryland here.