JAG Indiana expanding, plans to add 250 more programs

INDIANAPOLIS (Aug. 9, 2018) – Indiana’s award-winning Jobs for America’s Graduates program, which helps high school students achieve success through graduation, will be expanding in the upcoming school year as part of Governor Eric Holcomb’s goal to add 250 more programs throughout the state.

In Indiana, between 8,000 to 10,000 high school students drop out each year, and 40 percent of those never enter the workforce. But through JAG, more of those students are finishing school and preparing for future careers at the same time. In the 2017-18 academic year, 95 percent of students enrolled in a JAG program graduated from high school.

JAG Indiana is administered by the Indiana Department of Workforce Development and is funded by state and federal dollars. JAG is a workforce preparation program, which allows students to receive class credit by completing the course. The program helps students learn in-demand employability skills and provides a bridge to post-secondary education and career advancement opportunities.

Beginning with just 12 schools in 2006, JAG Indiana has grown to be the largest affiliate in the national network, with 135 programs statewide. Now it’s about to get even bigger, with plans to add four more programs in the upcoming school year. The expansion is part of Gov. Holcomb’s plan that he announced during his last State of the State address to ultimately add a total of 250 more programs. Click here to watch Brianna Morse discuss JAG expansion.

Gov. Holcomb’s plans to grow the program in Indiana follow his election as chair of JAG’s National Board of Directors. JAG was founded in 1980 and has programs in 1,000 schools across the country. He began serving his term on Jan. 1.

 “I’m committed to expanding JAG; it works,” the governor said during his State of the State address. “So, as we evaluate programs over the next year, we’ll maximize existing resources and work with the private sector to add 250 more programs all across Indiana within the next seven years.”

Adding 250 more programs will enable JAG Indiana to increase the number of students it serves each school year, from 6,500 to more than 25,000.

The success of JAG Indiana is reflected in the recent honor it earned from JAG’s national office in Alexandria, Virginia. For the fourth consecutive year, JAG Indiana received the prestigious “5 of 5” Award for meeting five goals set by the national organization, including exceeding graduation-rate and job-placement milestones. Watch Morse discuss exceeding the 5 of 5 goals.

“This year, JAG Indiana exceeded the national goals for student graduation, employment and post-secondary education participation,” said Brianna Morse, DWD Director of Youth Initiatives. “JAG Indiana students set the bar for meeting industry demands for a skilled and committed workforce, as they are truly leaders within their school and community, trained in today’s most in-demand employability skills.  The Jobs for America’s graduates program provides students with a competitive advantage in the job market, as our supports and program mentors help them achieve success on their career path.” 

JAG Indiana’s 95 percent graduation rate during the last academic year exceeded the 90 percent benchmark set by the national office. It also achieved:

● 75 percent job placement, including the military, exceeding the 60 percent goal

● 88 percent positive outcome (landing a job, joining the military, or continuing onto post-secondary education, exceeding the 80 percent goal

● 90 percent in full-time placement, exceeding the goal of 80 percent

● 75 percent in full-time jobs, exceeding the goal of 60 percent. 

In addition, all 12 of DWD’s regions throughout the state received “5 of 5” awards, while 60 of the 135 individual programs did.

About Brian Scott

I play on the radio from 7 am -1 pm weekdays on 98.9 WYRZ and WYRZ.org. Follow me on twitter @WYRZBrianScott or e-mail me at brian@wyrz.org.

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