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Chamber of Commerce cuts Junior Achievers


The parting of ways between the Junior Achievement Programme (JAP) and the Chamber of Industry and Commerce (CIC) has been likened by both parties, to that of a child being weaned from its mother.{{more}}

In a letter to Chairman of the Junior Achievement Advisory Board Geoffrey Hadaway, dated April 20th 2009, President of the Council of the CIC Angus Steele indicated that the Chamber had decided to terminate sponsorship of the programme effective May 31st 2009.

The letter stated that the Council had “reviewed its current position with regard to the program,” hence the reason for withdrawing its support in kind.

Searchlight however has learned that the Chamber had become ‘unhappy’ with some actions of the JAP. Chief Executive Officer of the Chamber Shafia London told Searchlight that among other things, the Chamber had not been informed that the Junior Achievement Programme had been incorporated.

In fact, according to London, it was an article in SEARCHLIGHT dated April 17th 2009 that informed the CIC that the JAP was now a company (since December 2008).

“As a non profit organization, we (the CIC) cannot offer sponsorship to a company, we had to let them go….They have grown up, and as the parent – child modeled relationship, it is natural that we ‘wean’ them from us,” London stated.

The weaning, according to the Chamber’s letter means that the JAP would no longer enjoy the privileges of the Chamber’s conference room and facilities, and the payment of fees and utilities.

Hadaway however, acknowledging receipt of the letter, indicated that he was not fully aware of the reason for the Chamber’s withdrawal, but said that the move was expected.

Hadaway said that the separation would not affect the current programme, as it comes at the end of the school year.

“Things are in place, we are still on our legs…. However we have to find new office space somewhere. We are in talks with others and things are promising.”

Hadaway indicated that after ten years of being under the wings of the Chamber, it was indeed time to move on.

He said that there was no love lost between the JAP and the CIC, a sentiment echoed by London and the CIC.

“The Chamber has been good to us over the years,” Hadaway indicated.

“At the end of the day, it’s the bigger picture that is important; that’s to help prepare young people for the real world. Any way we can assist them we will,” London noted.