Norfolk Southern partners with Junior Achievement to inspire future workforce

Interactive storefront will provide Metro Atlanta students the opportunity to learn about rail industry

Norfolk Southern’s newest office is an interactive storefront at the Junior Achievement (JA) Chick-fil-A Discovery Center in Atlanta. Funded by Norfolk Southern, the storefront provides middle school students the opportunity to learn about railroads’ essential role in the nation’s economy. A three-year grant of $105,000 also includes programmatic support for thousands of students.

To celebrate the opening, Norfolk Southern and the JA Chick-fil-A Discovery Center hosted a ribbon-cutting ceremony and the company’s employees participated in a volunteer day at the storefront alongside more than 100 sixth-grade students from Champion Theme Middle School in Atlanta.

“We are proud to be partnering with an organization like Junior Achievement,” said Norfolk Southern Chief Financial Officer and JA board member Mark George. “This collaboration underscores Norfolk Southern’s dedication to investing in the communities we serve and inspiring the next generation of leaders. We hope our storefront and the financial education it provides will offer students a hands-on understanding of the vital role Norfolk Southern plays in our global economy.”

JA BizTown, a program where students operate simulated storefronts across various industries, helps them gain real world context for their classroom learnings by starting and running a simulated business. Students involved in the Norfolk Southern storefront will have the opportunity to learn more about the company and the vital role rail plays in delivering the goods that power the American and global economy. The storefront also features a miniature version of Norfolk Southern’s Network Operations Center (NOC) to help students understand the role technology plays in rail.

“We are delighted to have Norfolk Southern partner with Junior Achievement of Georgia,” said John Hancock, President and CEO of JA of Georgia. “Having Norfolk Southern represented in JA BizTown at the JA Chick-fil-A Discovery Center has already opened the eyes of so many students to the career possibilities Norfolk Southern has to offer.”

The JA Chick-fil-A Discovery Center of Atlanta served more than 30,000 students in the 2022-2023 school year. Each activation features a CEO of the Day, a student responsible for leading the storefront. The first student to be Norfolk Southern’s “CEO” of the day was Champion Theme Middle School sixth grader, Jarrett Tolbert.

“My favorite part of working at Norfolk Southern was helping out my teammates because they were really nice and we worked together,” Jarrett said. “The coolest thing that I learned was how transportation works and what Norfolk Southern does.”

This partnership is just one of Norfolk Southern’s commitments to investing in education and the future workforce. Earlier this year, Norfolk Southern announced its second annual class of Thoroughbred Scholars, granting more than 100 children of its employees needed funds to pursue higher education.

Learn more about Norfolk Southern’s corporate giving initiatives here.