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."
Metro Atlanta is joining communities across the nation in the movement to incorporate financial literacy education and 21 st century skills development as components of the core curriculum. Currently JA Finance Park facilities exist in more than 20 cities across the United States. As the program has grown and expanded over the past 10 years, JA has been able to glean some keys to success. JA of Georgia intends to develop the next generation of these simulation centers, with the ultimate vision to take the centers statewide.About Equifax Equifax is a global leader in consumer, commercial and workforce information solutions, providing businesses of all sizes and consumers with information they can trust. We organize and assimilate data on more than 500 million consumers and 81 million businesses worldwide, and use advanced analytics and proprietary technology to create and deliver customized insights that enrich both the performance of businesses and the lives of consumers. Headquartered in Atlanta, Equifax operates or has investments in 18 countries and is a member of Standard & Poor's (S&P) 500® Index. Its common stock is traded on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) under the symbol EFX. For more information, please visit www.equifax.com. About Junior Achievement's Chick-fil-A Foundation Discovery Center Junior Achievement's Chick-fil-A Foundation Discovery Center is a state-of-the-art financial literacy and career-readiness center located in Building C of the Georgia World Congress Center that will house two interactive venues, JA BizTown ® and JA Finance Park ®. Both simulations will be designed as marketplaces representative of the local business community with storefronts that include AIG, AT&T, Assurant, Atlanta CEO Council, Atlanta Falcons, Atlanta Hawks, Atlanta Tech Village, Advanced Technology Development Center at Georgia Tech, AutoTrader.com, Bank of America, Belk, Bennett Thrasher, Chick-fil-A, The Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta, Delta Air Lines, Elavon, Emory Healthcare, EO Atlanta, Equifax, First Data, Gas South, Georgia Power, Georgia State University, Harry Norman, Hire Dynamics, ING, Jackson Healthcare, KIA Motors, Kaiser Permanente, Kauffman Tire, KSU Coles College of Business, Lockton, Metro Atlanta Chamber, NCR, Newell Rubbermaid, PGi, Post Properties, Publix Super Markets, Purchasing Power, RockTenn, SunTrust Bank, Technology Association of Georgia, United Way of Greater Atlanta, UPS, Walmart and Wells Fargo. While on-site, the students will immerse themselves in reality-based, decision-making processes, addressing common challenges adults experience daily in their personal and professional life. The JA Discovery Center is set to open in the fall of 2013 and will serve more than 30,000 sixth through eighth grade students from Atlanta Public Schools, DeKalb County Schools and Fulton County Schools each year. For more information, visit http://www.georgia.ja.org/programs/DiscoveryCenter.php. About Junior Achievement of Georgia Junior Achievement (JA) of Georgia is dedicated to giving young people the knowledge and skills they need to own their economic success, plan for their future and make educated academic and economic choices. JA programs are delivered by corporate and community volunteers, and provides relevant, hands-on experiences to students from kindergarten through high school. JA of Georgia offers multiple programs, including in-class programs, JAMS and JA Fellows – all of which focus on entrepreneurship, personal financial literacy and workforce readiness. During the 2012-13 school year, JA of Georgia served more than 160,000 students statewide through six district offices located in Atlanta, Augusta, Columbus, Dalton, Gainesville and Savannah. For more information, visit www.georgia.ja.org.
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