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ATLANTA, Aug. 20, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Equifax (NYSE:EFX), a leading global information solutions provider, today announced its partnership with Junior Achievement (JA) of Georgia to provide metro Atlanta middle school students with a dynamic learning experience designed to enhance their financial literacy and build their skills for personal and professional success. Based in Atlanta, Equifax is among several major companies and foundations supporting the development and implementation of JA Finance Park®, one of two interactive venues within Junior Achievement's Chick-fil-A Foundation Discovery Center, located in Building C of the Georgia World Congress Center. Scheduled to open in September 2013 for student visits, JA Finance Park will serve 15,000 students annually.
"We're excited about the strong, new relationship between Equifax and Junior Achievement of Georgia, a decades-old organization that brings economics, free enterprise, career awareness and financial responsibility education into area schools," said Alex Gonzalez, president of Equifax's North America Commercial Solutions unit and a JA of Georgia Board member. "Our philanthropic goals for community and public engagement through financial literacy and K-12 education are very much aligned with JA's mission and goals."
The students' experience in this program begins in the classroom with four weeks of JA-provided curriculum that culminates with a one-day visit at JA Finance Park. During the visit, each student receives a unique "life situation" with job, income, education and family scenarios. Based on their circumstances, the students work through a series of individual and family financial decisions, including housing, transportation, food, utilities, healthcare, investments, philanthropy and banking.
Equifax plays a key role at JA Finance Park by educating 7
th grade students about the use of credit and the impact of financial actions and decisions on credit scores. When students visit the Equifax "store," they will have the opportunity to learn the basics of credit through real-life scenarios presented via an interactive "app" on tablet devices. The students will leave the Equifax store with specific information on credit scores to help them work through their financial decisions at JA Finance Park. Equifax vendors Baker Audio and TurnerBoone Contract graciously donated the tablet devices and furnishings, respectively, for the Equifax store.
"It's gratifying for us to contribute to such an innovative program and collaboration between JA of Georgia and the Atlanta business community," said Trey Loughran, president of Equifax's Personal Solutions unit. "If we're able to collectively engage the young people of Atlanta in learning financial and budgeting fundamentals through this program, we all will benefit across our community over the longer term."