The Children’s Business Center
“All life skills were put into ACTION. Commerce Plaza afforded the opportunity that NO textbook could ever provide. Thank you, Commerce Plaza, for providing a trip that puts ‘real’ life into action.” – 6th Grade Parent
The Children’s Business Center for Tomorrow’s Business Leaders
What makes Commerce Plaza a unique activity-based experience for students is that it designed for students. While they are immersed in the business community, instructors facilitate and guide the students through their experiences, ensuring they successfully apply their knowledge and put their skills to practice.
Each student plays a specific role in the business community that allows them to apply life skills such as problem solving, critical thinking, effective communication, and teamwork. As these life skills are reinforced during the simulation, students learn on multiple levels which enhance and personalize the learning experience.
Since opening in May 2000, Commerce Plaza has hosted over 55,000 students from school districts on Long Island.
Commerce Plaza opened its doors in 2000 with funding from the NY State Department of Education’s School-to-Work Initiative.
The School-to-Work Initiative followed the School to Work Opportunities Act passed in 1994. The Act served as a solution for bridging gaps between education and employment after studies revealed that the U.S. lacked this coherent system for applying academic knowledge with employment and career development practices. The School-to-Work Initiative was an optimistic approach to creating new ways for the academic world and the worlds of commerce and industry to connect.
Commerce Plaza embodies the mission and vision of the initiative bringing together the leaders in education with the leaders in business providing a forum in which students have the opportunity to combine knowledge with practice. From its initial opening, communities across Long Island have embraced Commerce Plaza as a leader in providing students with practical experience in their preparation for the workforce.
The goal of Commerce Plaza is to provide Long Island students with an immersive business experience to prepare them for the real-world workforce.
The Commerce Plaza Curriculum meets the NYS Standards for Learning. The curriculum is taught during a 6-week preparatory period in which students gain the knowledge to have a successful experience at Commerce Plaza. Instructors provide the structure and guidance that facilitate the full immersive, hands-on activity for visiting students, ensuring they apply the knowledge they gained from the classroom instruction.
Commerce Plaza is a simulated business community in which every student gets to experience true-to-life transactions, business operations, and management that ultimately give them a sense of success after their full-day field trip.
Inside the Plaza
When students arrive, they have options of playing out various business roles within Commerce Plaza. During this full-day field trip experience, students have the opportunity to put into practice what they learned in the 6-week preparatory period in their classrooms, essentially bringing Commerce Plaza to life. With the support of local businesses, Capital One Bank, Hofstra University, Sandwire IT Tech Solutions, and United Way of Long Island, students can choose from a variety of industries including banking, news media, and public service.
Career literacy at Commerce Plaza is about preparing students for today’s workforce. Helping them gain a sense of their strengths and providing them with a baseline of practical skills is a key component to their learning experience. A few of these skills include business operations, banking skills like writing checks and balancing checkbooks, applying for bank loans and completing job applications. Commerce Plaza introduces these skills to students at a crucial developmental stage when they begin to show an interest in how the real world works.
Getting involved with Commerce Plaza is about making a difference today for tomorrow.