State School Supt. announces launch of Jobs for Washington's Graduations organization

Sunday, October 30, 2011

The establishment of a new, statewide organization devoted to keeping students in school and helping them with employment will help in reducing Washington’s dropout rate, said State Superintendent Randy Dorn.

Dorn made the comments October 20 as part of the official launch of Jobs for Washington’s Graduates. The organization is part of Jobs for America’s Graduates.

“Not having a high school diploma can be a huge roadblock to a successful career,” said Dorn. “The great thing about JAG is that it not only keeps students in school but also exposes them to potential careers, teaches employability and leadership skills, so that they are employable.”

Washington became a state member of JAG in 2010. Jobs for Washington’s Graduates is a nonprofit organization with a board of directors. Its mission is to develop and support JWG programs in Washington state.

The JAG model targets three groups of students: school-to-career for seniors, a multi-year program for all high school students and an out-of-school program for students who have dropped out and want to reenter school.

Based on research studies, JAG has compiled a list of 35 barriers to success, such as low academic performance, a past record of excessive absences and family income. Students who are accepted into the program complete a profile that asks them to identify all of their barriers. Removing as many of those barriers as possible is a chief component of the program and will help students succeed.

Barriers are most often removed through the JAG curriculum, which is based on competencies. In partnership with employers and educators, JAG has identified a total of 88 competencies for all students, from middle school to those who had dropped out. The competencies are divided into 20 sections, including job survival competencies, economic empowerment competencies and life survival skills.

Washington is the only JAG state that ties the JAG program to career and technical education classes. This gives students skills training along with JAG training. And beginning this year, students can begin receiving credentials for certain classes they take, which can lead to industry certification. 



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