JA Titan Business Challenge Week Goes Virtual
YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio — The 12th annual JA Titan Business Challenge will be a virtual experience this year, taking place for an entire week instead of one day.
Junior Achievement of Mahoning Valley announced its annual student scholarship competition and business strategy tournament will be an online experience, starting with a kick off on April 19 and concluding April 23 when the overall Titan champions will be announced.
High school juniors and seniors will take part using a virtual interactive business simulator to learn business skills. They will also hear from business leaders and compete for scholarship awards. Students in Mahoning, Trumbull, Columbiana and Ashtabula counties are invited to participate.
In the JA Titan Challenge, high school students compete against other schools as CEOs of their own manufacturing company. Scholarship awards of $500, $250 and $100 are provided by Premier Bank and the Robert S. Morrison Foundation to the winners, says Michele Merkel, president of Junior Achievement of Mahoning Valley.
Students experience firsthand how a company evaluates alternatives, makes decisions, analyzes the outcomes of those decisions and then strategizes what to do next through charitable giving, Merkel says. Teams of two to three students must develop business strategies and make “do or die” decisions for each quarter based on price, production, marketing, capital investment, and research and development.
While important for business, the skills learned are also “building blocks for a successful future,” Merkel says.
“You don’t have to be a business owner to have an entrepreneurial mindset, and that’s one of the lessons of this important program,” she says. “The JA Titan program introduces teens to the concepts that entrepreneurs are solution-finders, failure is okay if something is learned from it, and innovation doesn’t just help business but can also benefit society as a whole.”
Junior Achievement looks to enroll 141 students between 47 teams for this year’s event. Typically held in person with two daylong events, JA Titan Business Challenge has in past years drew 32 teams/96 students to the event at Youngstown State University and the Williamson College of Business Administration, and 15 teams/45 students to the event at Kent State University Ashtabula, Merkel says.
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