Interior construction of the Community First Career Exploration and Financial Literacy Center’s storefronts will be completed in time for the grand opening event Wednesday, January 22, 2020.
The carpet is in, the lights are on and the walls will soon be splashed with color! Junior Achievement (JA) and Fox Valley Technical College are putting the finishing touches on their new Community First Career Exploration and Financial Literacy Center, located at Fox Valley Technical College (FVTC).
The Center will be a hands-on, minds-on experiential learning facility that simulates Northeast Wisconsin’s communities and economy, influencing the minds and skills of more than 15,000 students each year.
“Ensuring students understand the impact of career choices and financial planning on the quality and trajectory of their lives is a gift that will last throughout their lives,” says Ann Engelhard, vice president of donor services and gift planning, Community Foundation for the Fox Valley Region. “Our donors are thrilled to be a partner in bringing this resource into the community.”
Students will take part in FVTC’s Career Exploration program and Junior Achievement’s JA BizTown and JA Finance Park programs, which will help develop a strong understanding of the relationship between what they learn in school and how it can be applied in the real world.
Dr. Susan May, President and CEO of FVTC, championed bringing this unique gem to the Fox Valley area, and convened the partnership between JA and FVTC to get it done.
“From my perspective, the Center is not a win, not a double win, but an exponential win for this region – a worthy project for Northeast Wisconsin,” says Dr. May.
“This is an investment in our children’s future for years to come, and one that will ensure students will be better equipped to manage their money, experience budgeting in a safe environment, explore career options, and see opportunities that entrepreneurship can hold,” agrees Cathie Tierney, President and CEO of Community First Credit Union, the Center’s lead investor.
In spring of 2018, Junior Achievement partnered with Fox Valley Technical College to launch a $2,715,250 campaign to support the creation of the new center. Grants totaling $733,000 from funds within the Community Foundation contributed to the campaign, including support from The David L. and Rita E. Nelson Family Fund, Frank C. Shattuck Community Fund, Bright Idea Fund, William Siekman Junior Achievement Fund, Doug & Carla Salmon Foundation, Professional Plating, Inc. Charitable Fund (within the Brillion Family of Funds), and an anonymous fund.
“The generosity of donors in Northeast Wisconsin is extraordinary,” says Michael Frohna, President of Junior Achievement of Wisconsin. “We are truly grateful for the vision and commitment of these donors who choose to charitably benefit our students through the Community Foundation of the Fox Valley Region.”
The Community First Career Exploration and Financial Literacy Center will open to the public on Wednesday, January 22, 2020 from 2 – 6 p.m. at 11 Tri-Park Way in Appleton.