WEST SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Balise Toyota and Balise Lexus in West Springfield are giving back to a program that provides economic education and financial literacy to young children in our region.

Monday, the dealerships presented a check of $40,000 to Springfield’s Junior Achievement of Western Massachusetts. The donation will help build a career leadership and innovation center, which will feature a virtual reality and maker’s space for students to gain hands-on experience in their chosen field.

Balise Lexus and Balise Toyota each donated $10,000 along with a matching donation of $20,000 from Toyota and Lexus corporate.

“What this allowed us to do is help Junior Achievement get a permanent location right here in Springfield where we can bring these students in and give them the education they need to be successful in their careers,” said Ben Sullivan, COO of Balise Motor Sales.

“That will focus on workforce development and offer students an opportunity to gain credentials if they want to go into a certain career in the trades in health services,” said Jennifer Connolly, President of Junior Achievement.

Junior Achievement helps students interested in fields ranging from entrepreneurship, physical therapy, and manufacturing.