Junior Achievement of Southeastern Michigan Set to Launch Virtual Career Program ‘JA Inspire’

JA Inspire Virtual Exhibit Hall.

Photo courtesy of JASEM


The COVID-19 pandemic is stretching educators to move into more innovative realms to help reach students still learning through COVID-19. So the Junior Achievement of Southeastern Michigan (JASEM) is bringing an innovative program, “JA Inspire” to the table to help those looking for a new virtual opportunity, according to a press release. This is open for eighth-12th grade students and will take place March 15 – June 13.

Through an online portal, students can enter a virtual exhibit hall and look at a wide variety of career opportunities with dozens of local businesses.

Highlights include:

  • Downloadable career information, videos, and steps to take to pursue various careers in different industries.
  • Educators, students, and their parents can access the portal and information any time, from the comfort and safety of home.

The program is available at no cost to school systems or youth-serving community-based organizations and is also adaptable for in-class or remote learning

“Students will essentially have a one-stop-shop where they can learn about different career pathways available throughout the region,” said Jason D. Lee, president & CEO of Junior Achievement of Southeastern Michigan. “It’s a virtual showcase that we hope will inspire and prepare young people for future success locally with Michigan companies. We want to keep our best and brightest students here.”

Participation in JA Inspire is open to companies and students in Wayne, Oakland, Livingston Monroe, Washtenaw, Genesee, Lapeer, and St. Clair counties, and North Central Michigan highlighted in light blue on this map: https://www.janorthcentralmi.org/areas. As many as 20,000 students are expected to participate. The online event is urgently needed during COVID-19 since student internships, job shadowing, field trips, and other onsite, workplace learning experiences have largely been suspended due to the pandemic.

“Our mission at Junior Achievement of Southeastern Michigan is to inspire and prepare young people to succeed in a global economy,” said Gina Coleman, Chief Sales Officer for MassMutual Great Lakes and JASEM Board Chair. “That’s exactly what JA Inspire is designed to do. We encourage as many students, schools, and businesses as possible to take advantage of this unique opportunity.”

Junior Achievement is seeking participation from at least 100 businesses showcasing careers, training resources, and post-secondary opportunities in Michigan and nationwide.

Companies that have already reserved online booths include title sponsor, Delta Dental as well as AAA, Delta Air Lines, Henry Ford Health System, and numerous others.

“This is an area of passion for us – around entrepreneurship, supporting the next generation workforce, and equity and diversity in the workplace,” said Scott Mullan, principal, consulting, EY, and JASEM vice-chair. “JA Inspire is a way to show all of these students a wide range of opportunities that they’re not going to be exposed to on a day to day basis and help to influence their future career choices as well as our own recruiting.”

Sponsorship fees for participating businesses start at $500 and help support the operating costs of JA Inspire and JA’s work within the region.

Interested companies, educators, and students can learn more and register at jamichigan.org/inspiremi.

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