More than six thousand Md. elementary school students will be gaining real-world work experience this year in Junior Achievement’s BizTown, a 10,000-square-foot American city replica located in Junior Achievement of Central Maryland’s (JA) headquarters in Owings Mills.
Howard County Executive Ken Ulman participated in the Feb. 14 ceremony when the Continental Title Group (CTG) opened their own real estate title shop in BizTown, giving our youngest citizens the opportunity to gain experience with real estate transactions.
According to Junior Achievement of Central Maryland (JACMD,) JA BizTown, an experiential economic simulation helping 4th through 6th graders prepare for and become productive citizens, is now taught in 80 schools throughout Central Md.
A Baltimore-based commercial and residential real estate title firm that conducts business in Md., Del., Va. and Washington, CTG has been a long-time supporter of JA, making an annual financial investment, as well as providing volunteer support.
"We wanted to open shop in JA BizTown because we as a company are passionate about the importance of passing on knowledge to a deserving next generation,” said Continental Title Group CEO William L. Yerman, who joined the JA board in 2003, and currently serves as vice chair.
“Everyone needs a leg up in learning and getting started, and it's our pleasure to provide whatever tools we can in the pursuit of work readiness and financial literacy and in turn the confidence required to move forward in life with an entrepreneurial spirit,” he added. “We feel fortunate to be given the opportunity to be involved in such a special program."
CTG designed its JA BizTown shop to represent the company, to mirror the new corporate Website and be playful to engage the students. Comprising a reception area, conference area and two desks, the space features contemporary furniture from IKEA (which recently donated furniture and labor to remodel the JA BizTown city hall and kitchen/café areas).
One wall is painted red with the CTG logo, and the words, “Continental Title Group”and company tagline, “There’s Talent in the Title.” Another wall depicts a red horizontal stripe and an ant holding an apple with the words, “Title. Super Strong.” The opposite wall has a grey vertical stripe, a unique clock and the words, “Time’s A Tickin’.”
Students will visit the CTG shop to negotiate commercial real estate leases and use their hard-earned “BizTown Bucks” to purchase merchandise.
“We are delighted to welcome the new Continental Title Group shop to JA BizTown. CTG has set an excellent example of entrepreneurship and demonstrated a real commitment to building the next generation of talent,” said Jennifer Bodensiek, president of Junior Achievement of Central Maryland.
“The bright and modern shop fits perfectly with our mission of inspiring the bright minds of young people to own their economic success,” she added. “CTG’s investment will allow us to continue to provide more than 6,000 elementary school students in Central Maryland with the JA BizTown experience each year.”
For more about Junior Achievement of Central Md., visit their website.
Click here to learn more about the Continental Tile Group.