A Publication of WTVP

OSF HealthCare and Junior Achievement recently sponsored JA TITAN—a business strategy competition for area high school students held at Illinois Central College. National City Bank provided $5,000 in college scholarships for the two top teams.

JA TITAN is an Internet software game that allows students to compete against one another as CEOs of simulated companies. Players plan and execute each aspect of a business including price, production, marketing, capital investment and research and development. Like any business today, the goal is to reach a balance of supply and demand at an efficient cost of production while competing with each other and other fictional companies in the industry. The software calculates each team’s performance index based upon a weighted measurement of the company’s value and performance.

Over 50 students from East Peoria, Dunlap, Peoria Christian, Notre Dame, Calvary Baptist and Bloomington high schools competed. When the entrepreneurial dust had settled, one of the East Peoria teams, consisting of Cody Bell, Cassie Griffith and James Boyles each had an extra $1,000 scholarship for college. Members of a Dunlap team each received $500 scholarships, and several hundred dollars of additional prizes were awarded.

The event was a “titanic-sized” success, with an additional event for McLean County already in the works for 2008.

But perhaps the brightest spot for the students that day was an address from former Peoria Mayor Jim Maloof, who was inducted into Junior Achievement’s Business Hall of Fame. Diane Oberhelman, the 2006 JA Hall of Fame Laureate, introduced him. Oberhelman was mentored by Maloof before becoming a Peoria real estate icon in her own right.

“My whole life has been one of Junior Achievement,” Maloof said. “And I am very humbled to be inducted into JA’s Business Hall of Fame.” IBI