Junior Achievement of Western Pennsylvania (JA of Western PA) today celebrated the grand opening and first student visit to JA BizTown, a fully interactive, true-to-life simulation that recreates the day-to-day functions of thriving communities. Vector Security was one of more than two dozen top regional businesses that have come together and invested millions to create this powerful experience that will inspire students to dream big and reach their full potential.

“Nothing is more important than connecting the dots between what children learn in school and how it’s applied in the real world,” said Dennis Gilfoyle, president and CEO at JA of Western PA. “Children need to be immersed in experiences that go beyond the four walls of a classroom. That’s where JA BizTown comes in. This dress rehearsal for life allows students the opportunity to test drive one of nearly 120 jobs that make up our local economy and learn firsthand how to manage a business, earn a paycheck and work in a community.”

A grand opening celebration and a ribbon cutting ceremony was held immediately before 80 students from Claysville Elementary in Claysville, Penn. became the first citizens for a day at JA BizTown. In its first semester of operations, the 10,000 square foot mini-city is expected to host 3,000 students in grades four through six from 22 schools in the greater Pittsburgh, Erie and Johnstown/Altoona regions.

The journey to JA BizTown begins in the classroom, where the students studied the basic economic principles at play in every community. During their four and a half hour simulation at JA BizTown, the students completed a day’s work, developed a personal budget and much more with support from volunteers and mentors.

“We are excited to officially open the door on our Vector Security storefront at JA BizTown today, allowing students to demonstrate and manage the latest in security and smart automation offerings,” said Art Miller, VP of marketing for Vector Security. “Our teams look forward to volunteering and mentoring these students and opening them up to new career choices that they may not have considered.”

The Vector Security storefront will include security and automation products for students to demonstrate to other student patrons. In addition, all JA BizTown storefronts will be equipped with “security” for student technicians to arm and disarm at the start and end of every BizTown day.

Vector Security has also provided the security and access control for the Junior Achievement of Western Pennsylvania headquarters where JA BizTown resides.