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Reinhardt University President Mark Roberts prepares to cut the ribbon on the university’s BizTown storefront. with representatives of Junior Achievement, university staff and members of the Board of Trustees.

Reinhardt University has opened a “storefront” in Gwinnett County, where students will simulate working at a university taking on roles like president, dean and professor.

Tuesday, university officials cut the ribbon on the store, which is part of the Junior Achievement Discovery Center’s BizTown, an immersive experience for students at the center.

BizTown houses businesses like Chick-fil-A, Quick Tip, Wells Fargo and Home Depot – and now Reinhardt — that are set up as storefronts, representing different industries.

Prior to visiting BizTown, students prepare through a series of classroom lessons in community and economy, financial literacy, work and career readiness, and business management. When students enter BizTown, they are given careers, financial profiles, and imaginary funds. Volunteers guide them as they operate banks, manage restaurants, write checks, vote for the mayor, and make purchases.

Students at the Reinhardt storefront operate the institution, setting up payroll, creating marketing plans and holding strategy meetings. They also sell their products and, as consumers, make purchases from other company storefronts. Students can purchase Reinhardt University swag, from pop-sockets to keychains, and apply to Reinhardt at the simulated Admission House.

“Our vision is to widen the fields of endeavor for Reinhardt.” President Mark Roberts said. “We want to make our very personalized and unique educational opportunities known and available throughout our region. Our presence in Biztown, and our deep and growing partnership with Junior Achievement, allows us to extend Reinhardt’s reach. Students who experience our storefront here in Gwinnett will glimpse into our academic programs, sports teams, concerts, theatre productions and student activities – and apply their learning with real-world simulations.”

Reinhardt’s partnership with JA began two years ago with university students volunteering as mentors at the discovery center.

“This ribbon cutting is commencing the physical space, but the partnership really has been in place for some time. The young people attending your university have just been so instrumental in the way of their volunteerism with our young people. This is an extension of a really, really great partnership,” said John Hancock, CEO of Junior Achievement Georgia.

Kevin Williams, franchise owner of Chick-fil-A in Canton and a member of Reinhardt’s Board of Trustees, called the new storefront a “win-win.”

“I am so excited about Reinhardt’s investment in our next generation through Junior Achievement in Gwinnett,” he said. “It is a critical engagement in growing young students and immersing them into the deep relationships between education, business and community. It also exposes thousands to the awesome experiences that Reinhardt University offers.”

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