Virtual & Hybrid
Company Program FAQs
In consideration of the evolving COVID-19 guidelines on gatherings, meetings and in-person activities, JA Central Ontario will be offering the JA Company Program in two models for this upcoming 2021/2022 school year:
Fully Virtual – no in-person meetings will be required
Hybrid – may transition to in-person meetings if appropriate
A virtual Company Program will be the standard model to start off for the 2021-2022 Company Program Year for all teams.
All teams will be required to have the ability to run fully virtually for the full year.
If the corporate sponsor has opted-in to the hybrid model, the team may transition to in-person meetings if public health guidelines and individual corporate policies allow. However, this transition is not guaranteed and subject to change.
Our priority is to ensure all program activities and events can be delivered in a fully virtual model but to allow companies flexibility to transition to in-person format if it can be safely done and if they choose to do so. In this way, we can move forward with confidence that we can deliver a comprehensive Company Program experience without interruption or risk of cancelation. Most programs will be offered fully virtual with a few exceptions for the hybrid model available.
Our goal for the JA Company Program remains unchanged: to engage high school students in an experiential learning opportunity where they can develop critical life skills and gain valuable knowledge and insight into entrepreneurship. Through the JA Company Program, students will continue to have access to the success factors that have always been the foundation of the program including:
Experiential hands-on learning
Opportunity to collaborate
Opportunity to develop networking skills and network with JA community
Company Program events
How will student recruitment be handled this year?
Our Central Ontario region comprises of the areas including Toronto, York, Durham, Peel, Halton, South Simcoe and Dufferin regions.
Virtual Company Programs will be open to high school students living in any of these regions.
Hybrid Company Programs will be open to high school students who are willing and able to commute to a physical location when permitted – the locations will be shown on the registration portal. Physical locations depend on the corporate sponsor/host and may include the areas of downtown Toronto, Mississauga, Richmond Hill, etc.
Student recruitment at JA Central Ontario is completed in several ways including:
Virtual presentations – we connect with our school/teacher representatives to schedule presentations in September and October.
Teacher presentations – providing a short ppt presentation or video with notes to teachers so that they can present to their classes
Promotion to SHSM specific schools
Social media campaign using targeted Instagram ads
Connecting with school boards and asking for their support in promoting the program
Sharing the opportunity to our full contacts database/network
Utilizing our Student Brand Ambassadors and Student Recruiters to share the opportunity within their schools and amongst their peers
Recruitment through our partners/sponsors
Sharing the opportunity with leaders of business clubs and other organizations
What type of students are recruited for Company P?
Company Program is a well-rounded program where students from all areas of interests and skills can participate and benefit from. While many of our students do come from business related classes, we have recruited from other areas (including careers, arts, sciences, etc.) where possible and where there is interest from teachers within the schools. We encourage students of all interests and skillsets to participate!
Is there a particular reason that the number of students per team is set at 10-20 students?
For virtual programs, encouraging and supporting student engagement in a virtual environment will be more manageable in smaller groups.
For hybrid programs, a smaller group will ensure we are able to adhere to public health guidelines on physical distancing.
We also want to ensure programs all have an equitable number of students to support the program experience and tasks/roles. If student registration numbers exceed the number of available program spaces, we will consider increasing student capacity in programs that can support larger groups.
The 10 to 20 student group number is not uncommon. All of our virtual teams in the 2020-2021 Company Program ran with these numbers and in other JA charters across Canada, this is a standard number for their CP teams.
What if we do not have enough volunteers who are interested and/or able to support a Company Program?
We recognize that this past year has created some challenges for volunteers and their available time outside of work hours to dedicate to volunteering. While we do expect volunteers to dedicate between 2 to 4 hours each week to the program, the amount of time will vary by week (more time will be required at the beginning of the program) and there is some flexibility in scheduling any small group meetings.
The suggested number of advisors per team is between 5 to 8 and can be flexible depending on the team.
For the fully virtual programs, volunteers can be engaged from anywhere in the Central Ontario region without the restrictions of the geographical locations. This may offer the opportunity to engage new volunteers that would not have previously been able to support the program because of the location requirements.
We may also have community volunteers (volunteers not associated with any sponsors/partners) that would be available to support programs that need additional support.
If you require support in recruiting volunteers, please contact JA.
Can we engage volunteers from our other offices/markets across Canada?
This is an option for the fully virtual programs, however, keep in mind that the students will all be from Central Ontario which means that the programs will run on Central Ontario time so any volunteers that work outside of this time zone must be available to volunteer at the assigned Central Ontario time(s).
In addition, interested volunteers from other offices/markets should be aware that there are other JA charters across Canada who also run Company Program. If these volunteers are interested in volunteering, they should first attempt to engage within their local community first, before joining the JA Central Ontario program.
Will volunteers need to complete a police check?
Yes, a completed vulnerable sector screening/police check is still a requirement for participation in the program. Volunteers who already have valid police checks on file with JA Central Ontario will not be required to complete another check but any new volunteers or volunteers who have lapsed checks will be required to complete an online police check. The JA Company Program Manager will follow up with those volunteers when registration takes place to provide instructions.
PROGRAM LOCATIONS & MEETINGS
How will the programs be listed for student registration?
Students will see options for programs that are fully virtual and hybrid. This will be clearly noted in the student registration portal. Fully virtual programs will not have a physical location attached to it and hybrid locations will have a physical location indicating where the meetings would take place if and when in-person meetings are permitted.
For fully virtual programs, students are not bound by the physical limitations of the program locations.
For the hybrid programs, students will need to be aware of where the meeting space is and be willing and able to commute to the location if and when in-person meetings are permitted. The transition to in-person is not guaranteed and will depend on public health and corporate guidelines.
As in previous years, we anticipate that each program will have a wide array of high schools from across Central Ontario represented.
What if gathering restrictions are fully lifted across Ontario, will in-person meetings be allowed?
With the fully virtual programs, students (and advisors) on any given team would be located anywhere in Central Ontario and it may not be feasible for regular in-person meetings to take place as not everyone will have access to the physical location.
With the hybrid programs, the transition to in-person meetings will be determined on an individual program basis.
What virtual meeting platform will teams use?
It will be the responsibility of the Lead Advisor(s) to coordinate and manage the platform available through the sponsor/host for the meetings. This will ensure that volunteers will have access to the meeting platform without any firewall/security issues.
If a team does not have access to a platform, then we would support the advisors in looking into alternative options.
DIGITAL PRODUCT OR SERVICE
Our advising team is not familiar with supporting digital product or services. What additional resources will be available to support them?
We will encourage our Lead Advisors to recruit advisors with skill sets that will help support the digital product/service development. We would also encourage advising teams to leverage the expertise available within their company/organization and their networks – including inviting guest speakers during the year.
Students will be encouraged to review the 2020-2021 Company Program yearbook to gain insight and review examples from this past year.
What are the guidelines for selecting a digital product or service?
We will be providing additional guidelines to teams regarding product/service selection. Companies will need to consider in-person production and in-person sales may still not be viable this coming year.
Recommendations would be to consider products/services that can be produced virtually and be sold on an e-commerce platform. Some product/service options include:
Can you provide some specific examples of a ‘digital product or service’?
Please review our Company Program yearbook for 2020-2021 to see our full list of digital products and services.