To expand its ability to increase JA’s hands-on programming for young people across Berrien and Cass counties in Michigan, and Elkhart, Marshall, and St. Joseph counties in northcentral Indiana, Junior Achievement serving Michiana has merged with Junior Achievement of Northern Indiana.

“We are excited about the opportunity to combine our operations and increase the JA programs we offer in Michiana’s pre-kindergarten through high school classrooms,” says Shawn Todd, Board Chair, JA serving Michiana. “Educators have expressed a desire to add more JA programs in their elementary, middle, and high school classrooms. Combining our JA operations enables us to respond to their requests, and community leaders and businesses are already pledging their support of time and funding. The result will be more young people able to experience JA’s economic education, workforce readiness, and financial literacy programs.”

Through the collaboration, the JA serving Michiana goal is to reach an expected 12,700 youth across Berrien and Cass counties in Michigan and Elkhart, Marshall, and St. Joseph counties in northcentral Indiana during the upcoming 2013-14 school year.

A local Board of Directors will continue to guide JA serving Michiana. They and the current JA serving Michiana staff members will gain the support of a 42-person staff working within Junior Achievement of Northern Indiana.

The collaboration of JA serving Michiana and Junior Achievement of Northern Indiana will incorporate an effective organizational structure that blends a centralized and decentralized approach to take advantage of the benefits of each.

JA of Northern Indiana annually serves 105,000 pre-kindergarten through high school young people across 25 counties in northern Indiana. It has achieved significant student learning outcomes and developed and sustained strong educator, volunteer, and donor relationships since 1952.

To learn more, visit www.jani.org/ja-michiana.