Junior Achievement of Kentuckiana’s BizTown, 1401 W. Muhammad Ali Blvd., is now home to a storefront of Business First.
JA BizTown combines in-class learning with a day-long visit to a simulated town. This popular learning experience allows elementary school students to operate banks, manage restaurants, write checks, vote for mayor — and now, run a media organization. Students are able to connect the dots between what they learn in school and the real world.
Business First staffers were joined by JA leaders, Board Chair Todd Spencer, who is executive chairman of local advertising firm Doe-Anderson Inc., and students from Auburndale Elementary School, including BizTown mayor for the day, fifth-grader Cash Riker.
Riker cut the ribbon to officially open LBF at BizTown on Monday morning, and local JA President Jennifer Helgeson explained the importance of adding LBF to BizTown, where its replacing the Courier Journal’s storefront.
“It is incredibly important to have LBF and the media as a part of the BizTown experience so that students understand and learn about how local news is communicated within the metro area,” she said. “The JA BizTown employees report on the latest news, write stories about JA BizTown, share their experience with photos and use ad space to share what their JA business is selling at JA BizTown.”
Helgeson said about 11,500 students visit BizTown each year, along with 1,000 community leaders.
“Our goal is to have students understand the jobs and roles available within a city, build money management skills, learn to display soft/durable skills in the workplace, and gain an understanding of the free enterprise system,” Helgeson said.
Lisa Benson, LBF publisher and market president, said joining BizTown was an easy decision because Junior Achievement’s mission aligns so well with Business First’s.
“We help our readers grow their businesses and their careers through the news and information we provide. And JA is providing kids with tools and knowledge to grow into the next generation of leaders in our community,” Benson said.
LBF joins other recent businesses and organizations to open storefronts in BizTown — Samtec, Kosair for Kids and Louisville City FC.