Cumming, Ga.—Engineered Floors recently celebrated the grand opening of the Mike & Lynn Cottrell Junior Achievement (JA) Discovery Center at North Georgia. The facility, which will serve 15,000 middle schoolers, teaches students about job opportunities and financial well-being.
"You go through a world of things, and pursuing knowledge is the attitude to have," said Bob Shaw, founder and CEO of Engineered Floors, who attended the ribbon cutting. "There are a bunch of us average intelligence people who are in business, but I think the attitude on how you succeed is if you want to."
Engineered Floors created a storefront in the facility to help students learn about career possibilities in carpet manufacturing.
“It was very important to the Cottrells that manufacturing was represented in this facility,” said Anna Adamson, director of Northwest Georgia at JA Worldwide, who is also Bob Shaw’s granddaughter. “This is something that our children often don’t understand—the line, the designers, the engineers and all the different jobs available. This is very much what makes Junior Achievement unique—it becomes the liaison between the business community and the schools.”
Adamson said the team partnered with local talent to build out the Engineered Floors space. Susan Young, daughter of Bob Shaw, did the initial design; Marketing Alliance Group, a Georgia-based displays and visual merchandising company, worked with Greg Sims Architects in Dalton, Ga., to do the drawings; and Engineered Floors provided the floor coverings and educational materials.
The center is the third in the state. The first, JA Chick-fil-A Foundation Discovery Center, opened in downtown Atlanta in 2013; the second, JA Discovery Center at Gwinnett in Gwinnett County, opened in 2015.
“We are thrilled to be able to expand the impact of this relevant, authentic and experiential learning to more students across the state,” said Jack Harris, president and CEO, JA of Georgia. “This facility creates an opportunity for students to catch a glimpse of what their future is going to hold.”
"Hopefully, one of these days, we will have another in Whitfield County [Dalton, Ga.]," Shaw noted.