Portland, OR. Junior Achievement volunteers like Olivia Arce and Genevieve Klein, seen above in green aprons, are helping kids get back to business after months of sitting idle due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Local leaders in Oregon and Southwest Washington said they’re, “excited to announce Kidder Mathews’ new storefront in JA BizTown®! Kidder Mathews is the largest independent commercial real estate firm on the West Coast.” The ribbon-cutting on April 18th was part of the nonprofit’s ongoing effort to get support from the local business community for the program. BizTown features a large indoor commerce-oriented town square. There are storefronts and workspaces for banks, restaurants, retail shops, manufacturers, and services‚ most of which are sponsored and branded by Pacific Northwest businesses.

Kidder Mathews team cuts the ribbon on its new storefront at the Junior Achievement BizTown. The team includes Brendan Murphy, Jordan Carter, Steve Bowers, Steven Klein, Peter Stalick, Clay Newton, Olivia Arce and Genevieve Klein.

Genevieve Klein and Olivia Arce extended their day to volunteer within the Kidder Mathews workspace at JA BizTown. “I love JA BizTown,” exclaimed Klein, “I wish I had gone through a program like this when I was younger. I have a business degree, and even in college, I never learned personal finance in the way JA teaches it.” Genevieve’s father, Steven Klein is the Managing Director of Kidder Mathews office in Portland. He has fond memories of participating in Portland’s Junior Achievement program as a student in the 1970s. 

Here’s a video about BizTown produced by Junior Achievement of Oregon & SW Washington:

After having 18 hours of classroom instruction, local 5th-grade students get to try their hand at running a business in “BizTown“.

Junior Achievement’s BizTown has served over 100,000 students since it opened in 2007.

The SE Portland facility is a $5 Million business immersion educational center that helps kids get a hands-on feel for working in the grown-up world.

About Junior Achievement of Oregon & SW Washington:

Junior Achievement (JA) is thankful to have great partners, like Kidder Mathews, who were ready and eager to step up during the pandemic. Kidder Mathews supports all Junior Achievement offices and students along the West Coast; Portland, Ore, has the only Kidder Mathews JA BizTown site! Therefore, we are extremely appreciative of this partnership and look forward to more collaboration in the future!

Junior Achievement of Oregon & SW Washington serves thousands of students each year. Students not only navigate the intricacies of jobs and being members of the community, but also discover the abundance of opportunities available within their cities. Since 1950, Junior Achievement of Oregon & SW Washington (JA) has been empowering local students by giving them the knowledge and skills they need to manage their money, plan for their futures, and make smart academic, career, and economic choices.

The local JA office located at 7830 SE Foster Road serves 35,000 kids in Oregon and Washington. For more information, see www.japortland.org.