SOUTH FAYETTE TOWNSHIP, PA (January 28, 2020) – ALCOSAN and Junior Achievement of Western Pennsylvania (JA of Western PA) recently celebrated the grand opening and first student visits to JA BizTown®, a fully-interactive, true-to-life simulation that recreates the day-to-day functions of thriving communities. ALCOSAN is one of more than two dozen top regional businesses that have come together and invested millions to create this powerful experience that will inspire students to dream big and reach their full potential.
“A lot of time and effort went into identifying the jobs we would offer in our storefront,” said Joey Vallarian, ALCOSAN’s director of communications. “From there, we had to determine what equipment and documentation would be needed, as well as the physical interior of the storefront.
“I want to thank Douglas Jackson, Michelle Buys, Kimberly Kennedy, Denee Cabbagestalk and Robin McRoberts for their invaluable help in putting this project together,” said Vallarian. “We have one of the more interactive storefronts in JA BizTown® that will show the kids how invaluable ALCOSAN is to the community.”
A grand opening celebration and a ribbon cutting ceremony was held last week, immediately before 80 students from Claysville Elementary in Claysville, Pa. became the first 'citizens' for a day at JA BizTown®. In its first semester of operations, the 10,000 square foot mini-city is expected to host 3,000 students in grades four through six from 22 schools in the greater Pittsburgh, Erie and Johnstown/Altoona regions.
ALCOSAN’s storefront features up to five jobs: CEO, CFO, Field Technician, Chemist and Chemist/Operator, and the job descriptions mirror many of the tasks done on a daily basis by each position. For instance, the field technician will be visiting many of the other storefronts to gather “samples” to be brought back to the lab for testing by the chemist or chemist/operator.
The journey to JA BizTown® begins in the classroom, where the students studied the basic economic principles at play in every community. During their four and a half-hour simulation at JA BizTown®, the students completed a day’s work, developed a personal budget, and much more with support from volunteers and mentors.