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Commerce Plaza
The Childrens Business Center

Our mission is to provide children with a truly unique experience that combines both education and employment in an effort to help build upon financial literacy skills and develop a stronger future for the Long Island Business Community “one child at a time.”


What is Commerce Plaza?

A simulated business community that promotes an understanding of the world of business and economics. Working together in partnership with Long Island’s school districts, students are exposed to the basic principles of economics during a six- week preparatory period where the Commerce Plaza curriculum is introduced. A full day field trip to the site integrates lessons learned from the classroom with actual work experience. In this simulated work environment, students act as retail operators, producers of services, and consumers for a full day, while meeting the NYS standards for higher learning. Commerce Plaza was Initially funded by the New York State Department of Education through its School to Work Initiative, Commerce Plaza has hosted over 73,000 students from over 35 school districts across Long Island since the program’s opening in May 2000.

The Commerce Plaza Experience

Students spend 6 weeks in their classroom studying economic educational objectives that teach them about writing checks, using a debit card, keeping a checkbook register, applying for a job and working as a group. These objectives are put into action as the students spend the day at Commerce Plaza. During their visitation, students work in one of the 12 simulated businesses, take 2 breaks, receive a paycheck and have the opportunity to interact with the other businesses.

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What To Expect While Inside Commerce Plaza

  • A bank (sponsored by Capital One Bank), a school of higher learning (sponsored by Hofstra university), a snack shop (sponsored by IKEA), a financial credit union (sponsored by Jovia Financial Credit Union), a newspaper, a laboratory (sponsored by TrueTox Labs), a medical center (sponsored by Cohen Children’s Medical Center Northwell Health), a non-profit center (sponsored by United Way), an environmental impact center and various other businesses

  • Experiential learning; teaching students about careers, economics and citizenship

  • Students developing basic economic concepts and understanding of the relationship between business and consumers

  • Each student assigned to a specific job at a specific place of business while cultivating a strong sense of civic and vocational responsibilities

  • Students receive mock paychecks, deposit funds into their checking accounts, make purchases and understand charitable giving

  • Students learn the intricacies of the work place, interacting with other businesses and having designated break times

  • Students produce a daily newspaper that summarizes their involvement in the business community while at Commerce Plaza

  • Students ultimately learn about the critical role that business plays in their lives and in the community

What To Expect After Commerce Plaza

Students return to their regular classroom for additional discussion and learning about careers, economics, business and community based on their day at Commerce Plaza.

Goals for Career Literacy

To Understand the role of small and big business, students will:

Write Checks

Make Deposits

Operate a Business
Balance Checkbooks

Apply for Bank Loans

Prepare Cost Sheets
Fill out Job Applications

Price for Profit

Work as a Team

Decision Making

Think Critically

Communicate Effectively

Thank you to our sponsors!