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Chatham-Kent Junior Achievement Celebrates 50 Years

Junior Achievement South Western Ontario is celebrating 50 years of delivering youth-focused business programming and services across Chatham-Kent, Sarnia/Lambton, and Windsor/Essex. The international non-profit organization is dedicated to educating young people about business and economics.

“Junior Achievement has been inspiring kids to become the next generation of leaders and has been giving them the tools they need to invest not only in business, but to invest in themselves,” said Darrin Canniff, Chatham-Kent Mayor. “Junior Achievement has been a great community partner for the past 50 years and I wish them another 50 years of success.”

“On behalf of the team at Chatham-Kent Economic Development, I wish to extend congratulations to Junior Achievement and to thank them for their years of dedication towards developing generations of entrepreneurs across Chatham-Kent and all of South Western Ontario,” said Stuart McFadden, Director of Chatham-Kent Economic Development. “I have had the pleasure of knowing many of the students and their families that have been through the Junior Achievement programs and there is no doubt in my mind that the education they received helped put them on track for success.”

Since forming the Chatham location in 1968, Junior Achievement has provided 50 years of programming and has grown regionally to bring their cost free programs to schools. Programming includes a variety of topics such as Our Business World for elementary students, Economics for Success for middle school students, and the famous Company Program for those in high school.

“I have to thank our sponsors for helping us continue to offer programming that has impacted the lives of so many students and given them the opportunity to realize their dream of being an entrepreneur,” said Jenne Wason, Area Manager of Junior Achievement South Western Ontario. “I also want to thank our partners including the school boards, teachers, volunteers, and everyone else who has invested their time and energy to help us deliver invaluable education year-round.”

In addition to the 50 years locally, the Junior Achievement organization is celebrating 100 years in operation. With over 120 charters worldwide, Junior Achievement inspires students to succeed in a global economy and reach their highest potential.

“We have an exceptional group of alumni who come back to share their experiences with the next generation and to help further inspire and grow the dreams of our future leaders,” said Wason. “It’s a cycle that I am so honoured to be a part of.”

Wason added, “There have been many changes over the past 50 years, and I am looking forward to seeing how we can continue to grow and evolve as an organization for the next 50 years. The sky is the limit and we are open to exploring opportunities that will provide success for everyone we work with.”

According to Junior Achievement Canada, they are aiming to reach one million students per year across Canada by 2020. Plans to accomplish this include creating an integrated digital learning environment that will allow the use of technology to enhance their program delivery and provide their volunteers with more flexible training options.

For more information about Junior Achievement South Western Ontario, visit their website at

Out front of the Junior Achievement South Western Ontario office at 60 William St S, Chatham.

Out front of the Junior Achievement South Western Ontario office at 60 William St S, Chatham.
Taylor Hughes, Chatham-Kent Economic Development Officer; Jenne Wason, Area Manager of Junior Achievement South Western Ontario; Darrin Canniff, Chatham-Kent Mayor; and Jamie Rainbird, Manager of Chatham-Kent Economic Development.

Additional Details:

  • To date, 5 million Canadian youth have participated in our financial literacy, work readiness and entrepreneurship programs.
  • By helping youth stay in school, encouraging entrepreneurship, and teaching financial literacy skills, JA in Canada creates an annual return to society of $45 for every one dollar spent. - The Boston Consulting Group (2011 report)
  • Learn more about Chatham-Kent Economic Development on our website:

Media Contact:

Andrew Tompsett
Marketing and Communications Officer, Economic Development Services
Municipality of Chatham-Kent
Phone: 519-352-8401 x2039
Fax: 519-436-3237