Business education programs and Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) chapters in Wisconsin will celebrate November 15, 2018 in recognition of American Enterprise Day. The national FBLA-PBL career and technical student organization annually recognizes this date to salute and publicize the American free enterprise system and teach others about it through a wide range of activities, projects and festivities. The FBLA American Enterprise Day webpage features numerous projects for consideration at the elementary, middle, high school levels. FBLA chapters who participate in American Enterprise Day may recognize activity involvement as part the Middle Level LEAD program (Silver Level Leadership Activity #4 and/or Education Activity #4), the High School Business Achievement Award (Future Level Service Activity #3 and/or Business Level Service Activities #4 & #7 and/or America Level Service Activities #3 and #16), and the High School Outstanding Chapter recognition program (Education/Progress Activity #24).
In 1980, American Enterprise Day was recognized through a United States Presidential Proclamation (prior to 1980 the day was recognized as Free Enterprise Day) and FBLA was a recipient of the "Getting Involved" project grant provided by the Chevron Corporation. The grant had three objectives:
- To get local chapter members involved in their business community, placing particular emphasis on the free enterprise system.
- To provide opportunities for members of the local business community to become involved in the process of educating tomorrow's business leaders.
- To generate activities which promote American enterprise on November 15 and throughout the school year.
Today, FBLA chapters across the country continue to participate in celebrating American Enterprise Day. The FBLA American Enterprise Project competitive event recognizes FBLA chapters that develop projects within the school and/or community that increase the understanding of and support for the American enterprise system by developing an informational/educational program. The project must promote an awareness of some facet of the American enterprise system within the school and/or community and be designed for chapter participation. Projects are presented annually at the Wisconsin FBLA State Leadership Conference to industry judges who select the top three chapter projects that advance on to the National Leadership Leadership for recognition at the National Awards of Excellence awards ceremony scheduled for June 29 to July 2, 2019 in San Antonio, Texas. The most recent national top 10 finish was in 2014, when the Germantown chapter members (Johnny Kohlbeck, Jason Leurquin, and Diane Xue) placed 8th in the nation in the American Enterprise Project event. In 2018, the top three project submissions may be referenced below:
1st Place - 2018 State Leadership Conference
2nd Place - 2018 State Leadership Conference
3rd Place - 2018 State Leadership Conference
An example of one of the local chapter projects that was completed last year, Portage FBLA summarized their involvement through the Outstanding Chapter submission as displayed below:
Portage High School hosted a bingo event on November 15. The topic of the bingo game was American Enterprise. Students came and played bingo, but the boards had American Enterprise terms instead of numbers. Emma Shortreed, Portage FBLA President, called out the terms. This was an easy way to spread awareness of the American Enterprise system. This event was open to all students at Portage High School. The bingo game was a hit among all of the students that came. They were having fun while also learning more about the American Enterprise system. This is an easy way make kids learn while being entertained. After the bingo, Portage FBLA sent out a survey asking students what they learned from the bingo event. Most of the students said that they learned a lot more about the American Enterprise system through the bingo game. Portage FBLA will host this same event next year so that more students can be apart of the experience.
Wisconsin FBLA state officers may be contacted to learn more about American Enterprise Day or to inquire about how to start a FBLA chapter in your community. The Wisconsin FBLA-PBL Foundation may be contacted directly regarding American Enterprise Project competitive event sponsorship opportunities.