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Kaiserslautern Apprentices Teach Students to Manage Money

February 2012
They’re very early in their careers at Corning, but a group of young apprentices at the Corning Environmental Technologies plant in Kaiserslautern are already finding creative ways to demonstrate the company’s Values. They dedicated a week of their time toward helping children develop responsible skills toward money management.

The 17 apprentices, who are splitting their time between school and work at Corning over a three-year period, participated in a local “Children’s City” program late last year.

During a week-long school break, volunteers guided about 100 children between the ages of 8 and 12 in creating a fictional city. The children took on specific community roles – from shopkeeper to newspaper editor to factory manager – and earned play money to cover their expenses and save for their future.

Volunteers established a set routine for the Children’s City participants. Each day began with a short program and songs. Then children would go to the “labor office” to get their work assignments for the day. They created simple products like jewelry or wooden toys, earned their pay, then went about covering expenses like food, transportation, and rent.

“We wanted them to learn the relationship between work and salary – that’s a concept that’s very important to their future,” said one third-year apprentice.

Besides the rewards of seeing the young children learn, the apprentices said they enjoyed the chance to work together as a team, too. They’ve formed networking relationships to learn more about operations outside their day-to-day work assignments, and have also formed a monthly meeting circle to share best practices and exchange experiences.

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