All posts tagged: jobs

Why Work Needs Meaning

“The Great Resignation” has been in the news lately.

There has been significant turnover of young workers, many citing burnout and job dissatisfaction for their reasons to seek other opportunities. For this Labor Day and beyond, Junior Achievement has developed a thought leadership piece and video focusing on the importance of aligning interests, talents, and passion with jobs and how JA learning experiences are one way to do this.

Much has been made in recent months about “The Great Resignation,” the tendency of young workers, primarily Millennials and Generation Z, to quit their jobs to pursue higher-paying, higher growth opportunities. According to a recent survey by Adobe, factors contributing to turnover include pandemic-related burnout, the repetitiveness of duties, poor work/life balance, and general job dissatisfaction. Additional research from Gartner shows that while most HR professionals realize an improved employee experience should be a priority for employers, only 13 percent of current employees are “fully satisfied” with their employment experience. This could help explain why 3.9 million Americans quit their jobs in June of 2021, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

The question is, “What can be done about this?” It’s not like this is the first time employees have had work/life balance issues, for example. In fact, according to ADP, the concept goes back to the late 1970s and early 1980s when two-income Baby Boomer families were juggling responsibilities at work and home. Since then, there have been many studies that show similar trends with Generation X and older Millennials. As for job satisfaction, for the past two decades, only about half of Americans have expressed satisfaction with their work, according to the Conference Board. And even in the early 1990s and late 1980s, when job satisfaction was at its peak, around 40 percent of Americans were still dissatisfied. The big difference now is what is driving employees to act on these concerns and quit at historic levels?

One factor could be a disconnect between employee’s interests, talents, and the fields in which they work. There’s a common saying attributed to everyone from Marc Antony to Mark Twain to ancient proverbs that goes: “Find a job you enjoy doing, and you will never have to work a day in your life.” Regardless of who said it, there’s probably some truth to it, given the enduring nature of the sentiment.

The most common denominator behind “The Great Resignation” may be that most people simply don’t like what they are doing for a living. According to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, of the six most popular college majors, only 27 percent of graduates in those majors continued working in their fields of study following their initial employment out of school. Additionally, the Adobe survey notes that most Gen Z-ers struggling with burnout focus on those aspects of their jobs that they are passionate about to continue working. It’s entirely possible that what’s missing is the alignment of employees’ passions to what they do for a living that can’t be solved by employer perks like occasional free lunches and fitness benefits.

This isn’t to discount contributing factors that cause people to quit jobs, such as bad pay, a toxic workplace, and a lack of growth opportunities. But the fact that it is now happening on such a large scale that it’s become a societal trend should prompt consideration of broader underlying causes, such as the way we think of work and help our young people prepare for it.

At Junior Achievement, part of our focus is to help students become work- and career-ready. We do this by helping them understand the relevance of what they are learning in school to future success. We assist them in exploring their interests and talents as they relate to jobs and careers. Most importantly, we help students understand that higher education isn’t an end unto itself, but instead a means to help them achieve their potential as adults, whether that higher education takes the form of college, trade school, on-the-job training, or some other postsecondary pathway. As a result of this approach, our research shows that 88 percent of adult JA Alumni are satisfied with their careers.

We believe job satisfaction comes from the purpose and meaning derived from that work. That is accomplished by aligning passion, talents, skills, and competencies with that work. When all of this comes together, employee satisfaction has a chance to grow.

Why Work Needs Meaning
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Buying Local in a Buzzing Economy

By Hannah Henry, Manager of Marketing & Public Relations, Brand
Junior Achievement USA

How many times have you heard “Buy Local” or “Support Local Businesses”? Probably hundreds of times. So why this “local” push? What does it do for you or your community? With summer here, the concept of buying locally will only increase, specifically about your local farmers’ markets. While providing you with delicious produce, farmers markets potentially have a more significant impact on the community than it does just in your fridge.

First off, let’s explore some fun facts:

  • Did you know that foods in the U.S. travel an average of 1,500 miles just to get onto your plate? Besides providing community perks, farmers markets cut down on the pollution due to these extensive trips.
  • The growers that you meet at farmers markets can also answer all of your questions about what products they have, where they came from, and how they were grown or raised.
  • People who shop at farmers markets have 15-20 social interactions compared to 1-2 per visit if they went to the grocery store! Talk about getting connected in your community!
  • The USDA’s Agriculture Marketing Service began tracking the farmers market activity in 1994. Since then, the markets in the United States have grown to 8,720, which is a little over 7% from 2013 alone.
  • The total annual sales from U.S. farmers markets are valued at about $1 billion!

What are Farmers Markets

To start let’s define what farmers markets really are. In essence, these local markets include farmers who live in nearby towns who bring their fresh produce and more to an open space, most likely an open parking lot, for community members to purchase. Believe it or not, the USDA has actual state rules and operating guidelines that farmers have to follow in order to be eligible to sell their vegetables and fruits, which means their locally grown items have been reviewed by similar, if not the same, standards as your grocery store products! In order to participate, the farmer or vendor agrees to pay a fee or percentage of their sales for their booth space.

Inside the Community Economy

Now, let’s jump into the good stuff- the economic impact of farmers markets in your very own communities! To start us off, did you know 89% of farmers surveyed reported sourcing their supplies locally, meaning that what they receive from their communities they are essentially putting back in! This is nearly 2 times the amount of money that is put in compared to wholesale farms, which reported only purchasing 45% of their inputs from their neighbors. To break it down even further, studies conducted by Civic Economics discovered that for every $1.00 we spend at a large grocery store chain, only 15 cents will stay in your local community.

Creating Jobs… Locally

Farmers markets in South Carolina reportedly created between 257-to-361 full-time jobs and generated up to $13 million, by one estimate. Another study from the Sacramento Region in California discovered a job effect of 31.8, which meant for every $1 million of “output” or sales they produce, a total of 31.8 jobs are being created within their community, including on-farm labor and other farm-related positions.

Farmers who are in higher demand by their community members have an opportunity for growth or expansion. By doing so, more “hands-on-deck” during the growing and selling time will be necessary. Through this type of scenario, local community members may find additional work or primary work readily available to them by these farmers.

Ease of Access for Communities

The Farmers Market coalition reported in 2016 that $20.2 million in SNAP benefits (aka food stamps) were spent at local farmers markets. Additionally, over half of the farmers market shoppers (60%) reported that their local market had better prices than they experienced in their grocery stores!

Want to start shopping locally this summer? Click here to find a farmers market nearest you!

Learning the impact of local businesses provides an educational opportunity for youth in your community. Amongst all Junior Achievement’s programs, JA Our Community puts a high focus on helping elementary-school students understand how their community operates, what they can do to contribute, and how their local economy works.

Buying Local in a Buzzing Economy
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Sea the World Storefront to be Revealed in JA Finance Park

New Generation of Youth to be Introduced to the Plethora of Careers Available in South Florida’s Most Lucrative Job Market

Fort Lauderdale, FL – April 19, 2019: South Florida’s marine industry is a 12 billion/year economic engine that provides the tri-county with 142,000 careers/jobs. In an industry where the skilled trades and specialized career tracks are crucial to its vitality, the maritime community is facing a workforce that’s aging out with skilled labor being very hard to find. Understanding the need to keep the industry thriving with a new generation of workers, Advanced Mechanical Enterprises/AMESOLUTIONS.COM, and 23 marine industry companies have joined forces with Junior Achievement of South Florida.

On May 1,2019, Junior Achievement of South Florida will unveil the Marine Industry Storefront, Sea the World, in the Patten Family Finance Park located at JA World Huizenga Center at the Lillian S. Well Pavilion. Each year more than 20,000 eighth grade students from Broward and south Palm Beach Counties learn how financial decisions will impact their lives. These include expenses related to family health care, real estate and home improvements, automobiles, insurance, entertainment, education, and purchasing items such as clothing, furniture and groceries.

Prior to visiting JA Finance Park, students engage in a comprehensive classroom curriculum that teaches them about finances, careers, income, expenses, savings and credit. This program helps students recognize that their education decisions affect their career options and have an impact on their potential income and quality of life. At the end of the classroom instruction, students visit JA Finance Park and put what they learned into action by managing a real world inspired personal budget based on local careers in a simulated city. Students are guided by trained volunteers.

“As an owner/operator of a small business invested in the maritime world, I’ve seen first hand how difficult it is to find skilled labor to meet our business growth,” said Christine Battles, CAO, Advanced Mechanical Enterprises/AMESOLUTIONS.COM. “Our industry is a gold mine of opportunities for the next generation. I’ve made a personal commitment to inspire their interest in our field, which, will in turn, maintain the maritime industry as a thriving economic force in the state. Our JA storefront is a major step towards fulfilling this initiative.”

Sea the World is composed of nine walls representing engine room specialists, yachting professionals, shipyard trade workers and other areas like marina management, boat sales, boat building to name a few. Advanced Mechanical Enterprises/AMESOLUTIONS.COM with the following 23 companies, raised over $130,000 for the buildout and curriculum development: Maritime Professional Training, Pier 66 Marina, The Triton (newspaper), IGY Marinas, Marine Industries Association of South Florida, Palladium Technologies LLC, Aere Marine Group, FB Marine Group, Derecktor Shipyards, Global Marine Travel, Lauderdale Marine Center, Luxury Home Consultants, AdvantageServices.Net, MHG Insurance Brokers, Palmdale Oil Company, RPM Diesel Engines Co., Viking Crew, Ward’s Marine Electric, Water Taxi, Wright Maritime Group, Roscioli Yachting Center, Elite Marine AC and Universal Marine Center. The participating parties are now transitioning into phase 2 of the execution process which will possibly involve custom boat tables, piling with rope, a fighting chair, and other marine themed elements to complete the look and feel of the Marine Industry Storefront.

Media: Please join us May 1, from 6:00 PM – 7:30 PM for a tour through the space, photo opportunities, and a reception with champagne, light appetizers and announcements.

“We are so thrilled to have such a vital industry represented in JA World Huizenga Center at the Lillian S. Wells Pavilion,” Laurie Sallarulo, President and CEO, Junior Achievement of South Florida

About Junior Achievement of South Florida

Junior Achievement of South Florida (JA) inspires and prepares youth to succeed in a global economy. JA provides real-world training in financial literacy including budgeting, spending, investing and the use of credit; offers cutting-edge skill-building opportunities that enable young people to explore meaningful, productive careers; teaches students how to start businesses; and introduces entrepreneurial values that strengthen workplaces. Last year, with the help of over 7,100 trained corporate and community volunteers, JA delivered over 20 various programs to almost 50,000 students in classrooms throughout Broward and south Palm Beach counties and at JA World Huizenga Center at the Lillian S. Wells Pavilion, a first-class facility housing JA BizTown and JA Finance Park. For more information about Junior Achievement of South Florida, visit

Contact: Joanna Ramirez
(954) 764-2678

Sea the World Storefront to be Revealed in JA Finance Park
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