For the past 35 years, Jobs for America’s Graduates (JAG) has shown what it knows about putting young people to work so they can get on a path to be successful in life. Their mission, to give young people the skills they need to meet the demanding circumstances that most employers have today and meet them on day one.
As you can see in the video below, the program has been very successful for the economy. The data shows that all of the funds put into educating a full-time JAG graduate student are recouped by the state economy in just 14 months through the taxes on what they earn at their new job.
There are three things that differentiate the JAG program from others: the Job Specialists in the schools, there’s a real accountability, and there’s a shared ownership of JAG between the public sector and the private sector.
As you will see in the video below, the goals of the Job Specialists are to reconnect the student academically with their school environment and to connect them in a significant way with the labor market.
Many of the students in the JAG program are from families that have been on a cycle of path dependency for generations and don’t see any way out of it. JAG helps their students learn about themselves and what their interests are and then provides them with the basic skills they need to get out of that cycle and succeed in the workforce.
Currently, JAG is available in 33 states with 1,162 local programs that has served more than 57,000 students this past year alone. In 2015, JAG’s graduation rate was 94% with a 61% employment rate and 43% postsecondary education enrollment rate.
The enthusiasm from students who are in the JAG program can be seen almost immediately. An example of this can be seen below in this amazing video from first-year JAG students from Camden High School in New Jersey.
JAG serves as a great example of the power of investing in at-risk students and working with employers to make sure the students have the skills they need to get a job when they graduate or move on to advance their skills in postsecondary education. It’s organizations like this that are making a real difference in our diverse and ever-changing workforce and we are proud to highlight them here at WorkingNation.