Portland— Emerick Construction recently began demolition and a conversion of the old United Cerebral Palsy facility, located at SE 79th and Foster in Portland, into Junior Achievement's newest JA BizTown.
An earlier renovation in July converted the front portion of the building into the new Junior Achievement headquarters. JA BizTown is an experiential economic simulation that helps upper elementary students prepare for and become productive citizens in an 8,500-square-foot replica of an American city. This colorful and bustling city has its own retail stores, bank, post office, newspaper, television station, restaurant, and city hall. These 18 enterprises are outfitted with modern office technology, equipment and supplies.
The city serves as the venue for an instructional simulation that reinforces students' language arts, social studies, math, and technology skills by giving them real-life application. The program is a hands-on learning experience designed to improve knowledge and shape attitudes about the opportunities and responsibilities of a citizen in the American free enterprise system.
At capacity, 9,600-plus students will participate in JA BizTown annually. The program will begin operation in mid-March 2007.
Corey Lohman, Emerick's SPG division manager, has personal history with Junior Achievement having served two years as a JA mentor.
Emerick is working hard to find subcontractors and vendors to take part in JA BizTown via in-kind assistance. Their work is based on a cost reimbursement contract, with the construction fee being donated. Future construction plans include Phase II, which will be the addition of JA Finance Park, a reality-based simulation for middle school students that offers personal financial management lessons and career exploration through classroom instruction and active participation in a simulated business park.
For more information on Portland's Junior Achievement Program, visit http://portland.ja.org.