Students get some fresh air before they prepare for Friday’s all important competitions!

Business Program Excites Local Students

There is an award-winning summer program that since 1979 has been exciting the imaginations of high school students throughout Pennsylvania about the world of business and private enterprise. That program, Pennsylvania Free Enterprise Week (PFEW), will be marking its 40th storied year this July and August. PFEW was founded specifically to teach rising high school juniors and seniors about the American private enterprise system and what it means to our country. PFEW now annually holds five sessions in July and August, serving nearly 2,200 students on the campuses of Lycoming College and the Pennsylvania College of Technology, both located in Williamsport, PA.

The focus of each session is to group the participants into management teams of junior executives who have inherited underperforming imaginary companies. These teams, under the guiding hands of volunteer “executives-on-loan” called Company Advisors, operate their firms for a computer simulated three-year period of time. They work with balance sheets, statements of income, marketing and advertising concepts, etc., and must react to a variety of external factors as well. Sound familiar?

The Chamber is proud to support PFEW and encourages our local companies and civic organizations to provide sponsorship for our students and, if possible, volunteers for the sessions. Every student attends PFEW on a fully tax-deductible $575 scholarship (the actual value of the scholarship is about $1,500) which is provided by a local firm, foundation, civic organization, or individual. PFEW is also an approved Educational Improvement Organization through the PA Educational Improvement Tax Credit (EITC) program. Each student wears the name of their sponsor throughout the week and writes them after graduation to report on what they have learned.

If you would like to learn more about this award-winning program and how you can help, please call the Chamber directly or contact Scott Lee, vice president of marketing & development for the Foundation for Free Enterprise Education at (814) 833-9576 ext. 8, or e-mail him at scott@pfew.org. PFEW is open to all current sophomores and juniors in Pennsylvania and information on attendance, as well as program applications, can be found on the PFEW website. Questions can be directed to Amber Goss, Schools Manager for PFEW, by calling her office at (814) 833-9576 ext. 6, or emailing her at amber@pfew.org.