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TUPELO, MISS. (WCBI) – These Warren Central High school students are taking part in a role playing competition.

They have been given an assignment, to help an imaginary hotel chain called Roadside Inn, improve performance and increase customer satisfaction.

It’s part of several competitions that make up this DECA conference. The students are preparing for statewide and international events next year, which will pit them against peers from the nation and the world.

“It’s helped me learn about the business world basically,” said Trey Williams, DECA Club Member from Warren Central High School in Vicksburg.

DECA clubs have been around for more than 60 years. The organization was formerly known as the Distributive Education Clubs of America and over the years DECA has evolved to keep pace with changing business and workforce trends.

It also gives members valuable tools and information to help with activities such as job interviews, resume writing and other skills to help them be competitive.

Dwayne Garrett is a senior who says DECA helped him land a new job at McDonald’s. It will be valuable experience for his future career goal as a restaurant owner.

“DECA has helped me become more business minded , and it helped me get my first job I will start in two weeks, better with my interviews and not to be so nervous and come in and be confident with myself,” Garrett said.

After they were critiqued by the judge, this group headed to the Renasant Center for Ideas. They had a chance to tour the local business incubator .

For the students, the workshops, mock competitions and field trips help build a better , well rounded student and future entrepreneur.

“I like how it, makes me a better role model and leader, to learn more about business,” said Mississippi DECA President Cody McWilliams.

While DECA has evolved over the years to keep pace with a changing business landscape, core values and principles of character building and leadership training remain unchanged. Students and advisors say the training prepares members for next year’s district, state and international conferences.

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