From left to right: Trevor Cavanagh, vice president of business development; Deborah Lausier, secretary/treasurer; and Chris Cavanagh, vice president, at the Petri’s Positive Pest Control storefront in BizTown.

Petri’s Positive Pest Control has found a way to bring on hundreds of new and young pest control trainees each day.

The Florida-based company became a sponsor of Junior Achievement of South Florida, a program that reaches out to about 48,000 students in Broward and Palm Beach Counties, to not only educate children in grades K-12 about pest control, but how to manage a business and hone their financial skills. “They have a program for both fifth- and eighth-grade students,” Brendan Cavanagh, president of Petri’s Positive Pest Control, said. “Kids will spend the day learning the basics of operating a business, financial literacy skills and entrepreneurial leadership.”

Cavanagh said the program is a great way for students to understand the specifics of the pest control business such as identifying pests and IPM.

Petri’s, which serves both Broward and Palm Beach Counties, became a storefront sponsor in Junior Achievement’s program called BizTown, a building that resembles a miniature city that contains a variety of businesses from the South Florida area. Volunteers from Petri’s come to BizTown during the school year and assign jobs to the students who arrive that day.

“Each student has a role in a business. At Petri’s storefront, someone is a technician, someone is a CSR and each business has a CEO as well. The kids are introduced to IPM and begin to gain a better understanding of the pest control industry. They learn how businesses in general need to operate to be successful and make a profit.”

Brendan E. Cavanagh, Petri’s Pest Positive Control president, and Christopher Cavanagh, Petri’s Positive Pest Control vice president, at a Junior Achievement Event.

Though students in Broward schools are required to attend South Florida Junior Achievement events at least once during the school year, the program also is available in different cities in the United States and all over the world.

Companies that are sponsors do not have to volunteer every day at their storefront even though the program brings students in every day. Petri’s involvement in Junior Achievement was late for the 2015-16 school year, but Cavanagh said the company plans to continue volunteering in the fall. Cavanagh said Petri’s has volunteered and donated to charities in their area in the past, but has “made much more of a push this year.

“Kids love insects and they love learning about them so our storefront has been very popular. We feel like Junior Achievement is making a positive impact on kids as far as teaching them critical skills for their future success in business and life. Our participation has helped Petri’s exposure in the community as well, so this has been a win-win partnership so far,” he added.

The author is an editorial intern for PCT.