Today, Junior Achievement of the Bluegrass, Inc. (JA) announced it is partnering with AT&T to host the 2016 JA Bluegrass Apprentice competition. The event will be held at Creative Lodging Solutions (CLS) on Tuesday, March 22, 2016. Now in its fourth year, the JA Bluegrass Apprentice provides Lexington students the opportunity to pitch ideas for new business ventures in an exciting competition form. In addition, prominent members of the Lexington business communities will serve as judges. More than 10 teams (nearly 50 students) will conceive, research, develop and competitively pitch enterprising ideas for products or services. The top three winning teams will walk away with cash prizes valued up to $750, provided by the Lexington office of the Kentucky Innovation Network.
The Kentucky Innovation Network has been around since 2001 creating a network of business leaders and mentors that encourage relationships, grow companies new and existing, and create jobs. “The Lexington Office of the Kentucky Innovation Network has enjoyed working with Junior Achievement of the Bluegrass to advance entrepreneurship throughout the Fayette County school system,” said Warren Nash, Director of the Lexington Kentucky Innovation office. “It has been exciting to observe these students hunger and enthusiasm to learn more about what it means to be an entrepreneur.”
Prior to the event, students will have completed a seven-week JA curriculum entitled, “JA Be Entrepreneurial.” This curriculum, taught by volunteers from the Bluegrass business community, introduces students to the essential components of a practical business plan. After completing the course, students will be able to recognize characteristics and practices of successful entrepreneurs and demonstrate business-planning skills for venture start-up, marketing, financing, management, and ethical decision-making.
 “We recognize that not all students want or need to start their own businesses, although many will,” said Lynn Hudgins, President of JA of the Bluegrass. “The main goal of the JA Bluegrass Apprentice competition is to help these kids become more competitive and more adaptable in a constantly changing business environment. In addition, JA and AT&T hope to encourage them to ‘think entrepreneurially’- to provide solutions to their generation’s challenges, whether they jump start their own ventures, or adding value by working for someone else.”
For more information about the JA Bluegrass Apprentice competition, please contact [email protected] or visit: www.jalexington.org

About Junior Achievement of the Bluegrass, Inc. (JA)
Junior Achievement is the state's largest organization dedicated to giving young people the knowledge and skills they need to own their economic success, plan for their future, and make smart academic and economic choices. JA programs are delivered by corporate and community volunteers and provide relevant, hands-on experiences that give students from kindergarten through high school knowledge and skills in financial literacy, workforce readiness and entrepreneurship. Today, JA reaches nearly 18,400 students in the JA Bluegrass region. For more information, visit our website at http://www.jalexington.org, connect with us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/JABluegrass, or follow us on Twitter at https://twitter.com/jabluegrass