A new partnership utilizes the knowledge and experience of a Tampa-based business to guide and educate local youth.
Webber Kerr Associates
, an executive search and consulting firm based in Hyde Park, is partnering with Junior Achievement
to provide financial support, mentoring and guidance.
Webber Kerr wanted to select a charitable organization to donate a percentage of search fees for every contract signed during 2014.
"Discussions kept coming back to children, education and preparing the next generation of leadership," says Emily Wagner, managing director for Webber Kerr.
The employees were particularly impressed with Junior Achievement’s mission, which is helping youth achieve skills in entrepreneurship, economics and financial literacy through real-world experience with business leaders.
In addition to the financial support, the company wanted to have a physical connection with the charity. They are allowing their employees paid volunteer time to participate in speaking engagements, mentoring programs as well as the Pam & Les Muma JA BIZTOWN, a mini city that contains up to 23 fictitious businesses to allow youth to experience economics in a real life setting. Students receive "jobs" such as accountant, retail sales representative and banker, and there’s even a city mayor.
A native resident of Dunedin and University of South Florida
graduate, Wagner participated in BIZTOWN herself while in fifth grade. "I remember exactly what job I had and what a good experience it was." The experience left such a good impression, she wanted her company to play a major role in giving back to today’s youth in the same way.
"We have to be focused on children, their education and growing their careers, giving whatever we can, whether it be monetarily, guidance or mentorship" says Wagner, speaking about the business community in Tampa Bay. "The economic health of the entire area depends on it."
Writer: Megan Hendricks
Source: Emily Wagner, Webber Kerr Associates