GNTC launches storefront at JA Discovery Center in Dalton

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On March 24, 2021, Georgia Northwestern Technical College (GNTC) held a ribbon cutting ceremony to showcase the college’s new storefront housed inside the Junior Achievement (JA) Discovery Center of Greater Dalton. The storefront is a partnership with JA of Georgia, and their efforts to bring relevance, authenticity and application into everyday learning to energize students around academics and their future possibilities.

GNTC’s storefront will support the development and implementation of JA BizTown® and JA Finance Park®, programs that will impact 13,500 northwest Georgia middle school students annually.   

The facility is the fourth JA Discovery Center in Georgia and is located on the new Hammond Creek Middle School campus. In partnership with the business and school communities, JA BizTown® and JA Finance Park® have impacted more than 400,000 students across the state in the past seven years.

“We are thrilled to be able to deepen our impact in northwest Georgia with this state-of-the-art center,” said John Hancock, JA of Georgia president and CEO. “This project is a testament to the commitment the business and education communities in Dalton have to ensuring the next generation is prepared for their futures.”

The 15,000-square foot hybrid space will combine both JA BizTown® and JA Finance Park® to offer an experiential simulation to middle school students from Dalton Public Schools, Calhoun City Schools, Gordon County Schools, Murray County Schools and Whitfield County Schools.

JA BizTown® creates a comprehensive experience where students are able to interact within a simulated economy and take on the challenge of fueling a business. Students not only discover the intricacies of being a professional and member of the community, but also realize the abundance of opportunities available within their city.

On March 24, 2021, Georgia Northwestern Technical College held a ribbon cutting ceremony to display the college’s new storefront housed inside the Junior Achievement (JA) Discovery Center of Greater Dalton. From left to right: Sherrie Patterson, chair of GNTC Foundation Board of Trustees, GNTC President Dr. Heidi Popham, Dr. Michele Taylor, chair of GNTC’s Board of Directors and Anna Adamson, Junior Achievement of Georgia director of development for northwest Georgia.
On March 24, 2021, Georgia Northwestern Technical College held a ribbon cutting ceremony to display the college’s new storefront housed inside the Junior Achievement (JA) Discovery Center of Greater Dalton. From left to right: Sherrie Patterson, chair of GNTC Foundation Board of Trustees, GNTC President Dr. Heidi Popham, Dr. Michele Taylor, chair of GNTC’s Board of Directors and Anna Adamson, Junior Achievement of Georgia director of development for northwest Georgia.

JA Finance Park® provides students the rare opportunity to experience their personal financial futures first-hand. Students participate in an immersive simulation that enables them to develop skills to successfully navigate today’s complex economic environment and discover how decisions today can impact tomorrow.

With the opening of this facility, more than 100,000 students will participate in JA Finance Park® and JA BizTown® annually. This type of 360-degree, hands-on learning has led to 97% of teachers noting that participation in these programs helped their students understand the importance of setting real-world long-term goals.

Junior Achievement of Georgia is dedicated to giving young people the knowledge and skills they need to own their economic success, plan for their future and make educated academic and economic choices. JA learning solutions are delivered by corporate and community volunteers, and provide relevant, hands-on experiences to students from kindergarten through high school. JA of Georgia offers multiple programs, including in-class programs, 3DE by Junior Achievement, JA BizTown® and JA Finance Park®, all of which focus on entrepreneurship, personal financial literacy and workforce readiness. JA of Georgia serves more than 175,000 students annually statewide, including 13,000 in the Dalton area. JA of Georgia’s headquarters is in Atlanta with regional offices in Dalton, Gainesville and Savannah. For more information, visit georgia.ja.org.

Georgia Northwestern Technical College provides quality workforce education to the citizens of northwest Georgia. Students have the opportunity to earn an associate degree, diploma or a certificate in business, health, industrial or public service career paths. This past year, 11,820 people benefited from GNTC’s credit and noncredit programs. GNTC has an annual credit enrollment of 8,591 students and an additional enrollment of 3,229 people through adult education, continuing education, business and industry training and Georgia Quick Start. GNTC is a unit of the Technical College System of Georgia and an Equal Opportunity Institution.