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Students, community profit from Junior Achievement experience

Stepping well outside the traditional classroom, and in some cases an equally distant place beyond their comfort zone, the New Visions team spent the past 15 weeks creating, developing and operating a company named Trading Creative, which produced and sold a unique set of products and turned a nifty profit and 100 percent return for investors.

Operating as a Junior Achievement (JA) company under the auspices of the Greater Binghamton Chamber, Trading Creative produced and sold both greeting cards as well as an item they named “Slap and Stick,” a device that enables people to quickly and easily mount their smart phones to most flat surfaces.

Each student was assigned a specific role in the company, including jobs in management, marketing, finance, production, supply chain, and customer service. The company raised seed money by selling 100 shares of stock a $5 a share. It also generated more than $3,900 in sponsorship money from local firms willing to advertise in support of Trading Creative products.

After liquidating, as required under JA rules, shareholders received a 100 percent return on their money, $5 per share in addition to the $5 invested, and $4,000 was distributed equally in donations to four local charities: The Memory Makers Project, A Room to Heal, the Humane Society, and Mercy House.

The 13 students recently collaborated in a formal business presentation before a gathering of school administrators, local business leaders, chamber representatives and others. They were joined by long-standing JA volunteers Scott Weissman of M&T Bank, and Dave Culbertson of National Pipe and Plastic Inc.

In its formal business report, Trading Creative CEO Luciano DeAngelo, a senior at Seton Catholic Central, wrote that the experience was one that will long be remembered by every member of the company, and one that will prove valuable in the future.

“Every difficult decision our company faced we decided to take head on and hear everyone’s input,” DeAngelo wrote. “We found the best decisions came as we reached a consensus among everyone. The obstacles we have faced have built a foundation for our future and have provided valuable insights.”

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