Eighty-eight students from four East Hawaii high schools have been working since September to prepare their products for sale at the Junior Achievement Trade Fair at the Prince Kuhio Plaza this Friday starting at 6 a.m. and Saturday starting at 10 a.m..
The students are part of the JA Company Program and are organized into four company teams, each sponsored and advised by a local business. During the 15-week program, students learn to be entrepreneurs by running their own business.
They purchase startup stock in their company, select leaders, decide on what products they’ll market, manufacture the products and account for all expenses and revenues. The Trade Fair is an opportunity for the public to see what their hard work has accomplished and to purchase their products.
Simplicity, the JA company sponsored by Bank of Hawaii, will be selling notepads with matching pens as well as personalized luggage tags.
Meile ellis-Tingle, president of the HELCO-sponsored JA company called 808Fine said, “everything our company produces is created with elegance, taste and style in mind.” Her company will be selling T-shirts featuring a design that according to company literature, “illustrates all of the values that hold a family together,” as well as origami hair pieces.
Big Island Toyota’s sponsored company is called Kulia I Ka Nu‘u, which means “Strive for the Best.” Company president Becky Kyota said, “we’re focusing our business plan on green products such as Koa key chains and frames, as well as on origami-type folded gift bags that don’t use any tape or adhesive.”
Junior Achievers Who Succeed (JAWS) is a JA company sponsored by Hawaii Federal State Credit Union. The students of this team made holiday mugs which are packaged with cocoa, a candy cane and biscotti. All four companies are featuring their own twist on recipe book, a product which has repeatedly proven successful with past JA companies.
“Proceeds from the sale of products go right back to the students,” stated Sharon Scheele, Junior Achievement of Hawaii Island board president.
Students receive dividend checks based on the profitability of their company. Fees paid by the companies for rent, utilities and taxes are used to fund scholarships for high school seniors in the program and other awards presented during the JA Futures Unlimited Banquet in January.
In addition to the Company Program conducted each fall, Junior Achievement of Hawaii Island teaches business and economics to over 3,500 East Hawaii students, from kindergarten through high school each year. For more information about JA programs on the Big Island, please contact District Manager Susan Labrenz at email@example.com or stop by the Junior Achievement information table at the Plaza this weekend.