Around the UFT

Virtual Enterprise International trade fair

Learning to build and run businesses

Miller Photography Roberson (left), who helped open the event, stops by to see Rachael Monaco (second from left) and her students from Susan E. Wagner HS on Staten Island at their booth.

More than 1,500 students from high schools around New York City and all over the world gathered at Pier 92 on Manhattan’s West Side on April 17 for the annual Virtual Enterprise International trade fair. The event gives students the opportunity to practice real-life business skills by displaying the virtual businesses they create and manage in their schools. “The kids develop the concept and the product and do everything around it,” said Donna Coppola, a UFT special representative from Staten Island who attended the event with students from her borough. “They really are learning how to run a business,” she said. “It’s really an amazing opportunity for them.” In their classrooms, students learned the elements of building and running a business — everything from product development and marketing to managing employees. Then they put those skills into practice by building the virtual businesses they showed off at more than 100 exhibits at the trade fair. “They’re really putting into play what they learn in class by simulating a full business.” said Sterling Roberson, the UFT vice president for career and technical education high schools. 

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