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New Jr. Achievement Venture Aims to Help Students Build Work Skills

Junior Achievement announced this week a new effort to help high school students identify their career interests and land a job, including how to conduct a job search and respond to common interview questions.

The new JA Career Success initiative comes in response to concerns among employers that they are unable to find talent to fill positions in their companies, according to Junior Achievement USA, based in Colorado Springs, Colo. The organization, which reaches 4.2 million students a year in the U.S. and even more abroad, uses corporate and community volunteers to teach students K-12 financial literacy and entrepreneurship in schools.

JA Career Success is intended to help high school students develop work-readiness skills with seven hands-on, interactive sessions led by volunteers. Students will be expected to use critical-thinking skills to solve real-life work problems, discuss in-demand soft skills, and review cover letters and resumes. Volunteers will also help students analyze potential jobs and education needed, as well as explain the importance of being adaptable and prepared for career changes.

The program will include a new digital app, JA Success Park, which can be used on an iPad, Android device, or online through Google Play. It is designed as an amusement park where students must use critical thinking, communication, collaboration and creativity to provide good customer service and resolve conflicts to navigate through the game.

JA Career Success is expected to reach 85,000 high school students in its first year and is supported by a $1.1 million grant from Accenture.

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