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Schools have finished coming through our programs for the year. Summer camp hasn’t yet started. This is the time when we unveil changes to the various programs and upgrade any new shops in Young AmeriTowne and countries in International Towne. This year, in addition to some basic changes, Young AmeriTowne underwent a massive upgrade — and our staff got to try it out by spending an evening running the Towne!
That upgrade is a brand new intranet, including redesigned webpages for each shop, interactive kiosks for Towne citizens, and tablets in each store to track purchases.
For several years, students running Young AmeriTowne have had debit cards they can use to make purchases. However, the store clerks always had to manually enter in the debit card number to finalize a sale. With the addition of the new tablets within each shop, students will now be able to swipe citizens’ debit cards and know that the intranet system will track the purchase. The customers just have to remember to keep track of their purchases!
Luckily, they have a new way to do that. There are four kiosks in Young AmeriTowne that allow Towne citizens to check their account balance and monitor transactions, just like online banking. They can also complete a survey, order a personalize dog tag or briefcase online and pick it up at the Container Store, sign up for Market reward points and get a discount when they go to buy a soda, and much more.
To try out this fabulous new system, the Young Americans staff members stayed late on Thursday night to run the Towne as citizens! Each staff member was assigned a job in Towne. Each person also received a debit card and checks, along with a to-do list so the system could be thoroughly checked. After a few opening remarks from Mayor (and CEO) Rich Martinez, Young AmeriTowne was open for business!
The staff members had a blast! Evan Borg, International Towne Director, worked hard to sell the items at the Postal Service. Cory Peterson, VP of Young Americans Bank, managed the demand for ice cream sandwiches in the Snack Shop. The accountants made sure the checks were processed the right way. And the DJ kept Towne dancing with some classic rock.
The new system will be unveiled next week during Young AmeriTowne summer camp. The campers throughout the summer will be able to offer feedback, and some things may be tweaked. When schools start attending Young AmeriTowne again in September, the system will be perfected and ready to roll.
We’ll share more photos and stories here throughout the summer about this amazing new system. Stay tuned!