COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo., May 25, 2016 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Today, Junior Achievement (JA) launched JA Global Marketplace®, a new and innovative digital curriculum tailored for middle school students to provide global business and cultural competencies. The curriculum is supported by HSBC which shared business expertise and provided a $2 million grant to develop the digital course.

JA Global Marketplace is designed to provide students with much needed practical information about the global economy. The program includes seven interactive lessons that allow students to more deeply understand how they are affected by factors such as international business, the global job market, trade barriers, currency exchange, and business ethics. Through the program's blended learning model, students have the opportunity for hands-on engagement and are exposed to the global competency that leading educators believe will be so critical for their futures in an increasingly global job market.

To demonstrate the insight gained from the curriculum, JA and HSBC staged "Crash the Classroom," an interactive experiment with 7th grade students at St. Gregory the Great School in New York City. The surprise classroom experience included an "around the world" tour of various countries led by a diverse group of HSBC employees who provided instruction on culture and business customs. Interviews with the students before and after, captured on film, demonstrate that even youth who live in a diverse community benefit from additional, positive exposure to global cultures.

After the "Crash the Classroom" experience, one of the students said, "We need to take time to learn about different cultures, because it's very important to life and business."

Visit CrashTheClassroom.org to view the video and download tips for parents who want their kids to have the opportunity to learn more about global cultures.

JA Global Marketplace curriculum is debuting in classrooms across the U.S, and JA plans a nationwide roll-out that will include HSBC volunteer instructors in local schools and could reach as many as 150,000 students in grades 6 through 8.

JA Global Marketplace is the latest collaboration in a relationship spanning three-quarters of a century. HSBC began its support of JA in 1942 with a $25 donation. That has since expanded to HSBC's significant national support of JA chapters across the U.S. with critical funding and skill-based volunteers.

"With international commerce playing such an important role in our daily lives, we were thrilled to join with HSBC to share their expertise with students about the global economy and what it means for our country and the world," said Jack E. Kosakowski, president and CEO of Junior Achievement USA. "The new JA Global Marketplace program allows students to learn about and understand other cultures; it opens their eyes to new perspectives and helps them understand how we're all connected through trade."

"In my role at HSBC, I see the positive impact of trade on companies and the economy in today's increasingly inter-dependent world. Put simply, when countries trade with each other, the world becomes stronger," said Inwha Huh, North America head of global trade and receivables finance, HSBC Bank USA, N.A. "Additionally, I'm also a mother of a middle-school student, and like many parents, I want her to be open-minded, embrace other cultures and be truly prepared to enter a global job market."

HSBC finances more global trade than any other bank in the world. With offices in 72 countries and territories globally, the HSBC network covering more than three quarters of global commerce, making HSBC the world's leading international trade and business bank. Since establishing its U.S. presence in 1865, HSBC has strived to be a bridge between U.S. businesses and Americans to the world.

JA Global Marketplace supports national financial literacy standards, social studies standards of economics and national technology standards. To learn more, visit www.ja.org. Join the #CrashTheClassroom conversation with @JA_USA and @HSBC_US.

About HSBC Bank USA

HSBC Bank USA, National Association (HSBC Bank USA, N.A.), with total assets of US $183.1bn as of 31 December 2015 (US GAAP), serves 2.4 million customers through retail banking and wealth management, commercial banking, private banking, asset management, and global banking and markets segments. It operates more than 229 bank branches throughout the United States. There are over 145 in New York as well as branches in: California; Connecticut; Delaware; Washington, D.C.; Florida; Maryland; New Jersey; Pennsylvania; Virginia; and Washington. HSBC Bank USA, N.A. is the principal subsidiary of HSBC USA Inc., an indirect, wholly-owned subsidiary of HSBC North America Holdings Inc. HSBC Bank USA, N.A. is a member of the FDIC.

HSBC Holdings plc, the parent company of the HSBC Group, is headquartered in London. The Group serves customers worldwide from around 6,000 offices in 71 countries and territories in Europe, Asia, North and Latin America, and the Middle East and North Africa. With assets of US$2,596bn at 31 March 2016, HSBC is one of the world's largest banking and financial services organizations.

About Junior Achievement USA® (JA)

Junior Achievement is the world's largest organization dedicated to giving young people the knowledge and skills they need to own their economic success, plan for their future, and make smart academic and economic choices. JA programs are delivered by corporate and community volunteers, and provide relevant, hands-on experiences that give students from kindergarten through high school knowledge and skills in financial literacy, work readiness and entrepreneurship. Today, JA reaches more than 4.6 million students per year in 113 markets across the United States, with an additional 5.6 million students served by operations in 118 other countries worldwide. Junior Achievement USA is a member of JA Worldwide. Visit www.ja.org for more information.

* The MetLife Survey of the American Teacher: Collaborating for Student Success, April 2010

CONTACT: Ed Grocholski Junior Achievement USA ed.grocholski@ja.org (719) 540-6165

Source:Junior Achievement USA