Jul 09, 2020

Connecting students with future career opportunities

Thousands of elementary, middle and high school students flooding the halls of the Junior Achievement (JA) of Kentuckiana’s West Louisville facility experienced a new and improved LG&E storefront in the organization’s “BizTown” area beginning in 2019. The 26,000 square-foot facility opened in 2004 and since then has prepared nearly 188,000 children for success by fostering confidence and providing a sense of purpose to overcome life’s challenges.

As part of its overall partnership with the organization, LG&E has been a proud sponsor of JA of Kentuckiana’s “BizTown” for the past 15 years. The program gives fifth-grade students an introduction to managing finances, exploring a variety of careers and thinking like an entrepreneur.

The LG&E storefront serves as BizTown’s electric service provider, keeping the lights on for all the businesses in the program’s mock community. Students from each BizTown class are designated to work at the LG&E storefront in a variety of roles: chief executive officer, accountant, customer services manager, safety engineer and meter reader.

The revamped LG&E exhibit educates students, parents and volunteers about the energy business, the people and jobs necessary to make it work, and the variety of generation technologies that power our community’s changing energy needs. A new energy demand dashboard allows students to see real generation data from the generation fleet and how it matches customer demand throughout the day.

“The new LG&E storefront at BizTown allows students to not only garner workplace readiness and financial literacy skills, but learn about our energy business through an experiential, hands-on curriculum,” said David Sinclair, vice president-energy supply and analysis and Junior Achievement board member. “We hope they walk away with a basic understanding of the economics of energy supply and demand for our community, as well as the role that both fossil fuels and renewables play in our generation mix.”

In addition to “BizTown,” the company also mentors students as it connects with them during the organization’s annual JA Inspire event. The event hosts nearly 13,000 eighth- and ninth-grade students from Kentucky and Indiana at the Kentucky Fair and Exposition Center, providing hands-on, career exploration through 100 interactive career stations. Mentors share career advice and engage students with equipment, technology and the opportunity to step into the shoes of employees from all industries.

The company also sponsors JA of the Bluegrass in Lexington, Kentucky, where it also maintains a Kentucky Utilities “Biztown” storefront.