Junior Achievement of Southwest Michigan (JASWM) announced recently that they have consolidated operations with Junior Achievement of the Michigan Great Lakes (Grand Rapids).  “This is a step we’ve been reviewing for a while now,” said Jodi Havera, JASWM Board Chair.  “This arrangement allows us to retain our name and identity, but provides significantly more infrastructure and support for our operations as well as an enhanced program offering.”

The change was established on July 1, 2018 with final paperwork being completed recently. “From an operations standpoint, we are already experiencing efficiencies that allow us as a staff to reach out to more schools and more kids,” said District Director, Laura Lutterbeck.  JASWM served 9,768 students during the 2017-2018 school year.  “Our goal is to share our curriculum of financial literacy, work readiness and entrepreneurship with as many kids as we can in the coming year,” said Lutterbeck. “The support we receive from the Grand Rapids office definitely contributes to the achievement of this goal.”

Junior Achievement of Southwest Michigan
Junior Achievement of Southwest Michigan

Despite the change, JASWM is committed to maintaining its local presence.  The local advisory board will remain with Havera serving as the Board Chair.  Additionally, the organization will retain offices in Battle Creek and Kalamazoo.  “It’s important that our offices remain in the area to support our schools, volunteers and partner agencies,” said Havera.

Junior Achievement of the Michigan Great Lakes is led by President, William Coderre.  A thirty-five year Junior Achievement veteran, Coderre brings not only extensive institutional knowledge to the region, but also is the driving force toward linking our area resources. “Junior Achievement of Southwest Michigan has a long history of successfully connecting kids with financial literacy and entrepreneurial education,” said Coderre.  “We are proud to be working together to strengthen our communities through our educational model.”

Additionally, the Battle Creek office of JA of Southwest Michigan has recently moved to 2775 W. Dickman Rd., Suite C.  For more information on Junior Achievement or to learn more about volunteering, contact 269-968-9188.

More From WBCKFM