04/01/2014 – Jobs For Georgia Graduates

  • Dr. Delmas L. Watkins – Director, Career Technical & Agricultural Education Department
  • Nedra Wakefield – Project Director at Georgia Department of Labor

Rationale
In support of Mr. Thurmond’s Bridge Philosophy, the Jobs for Georgia Graduates (JGG) program will establish a partnership with the Department of Labor and the school district to increase the graduation rate.

Financial Impact
The financial impact for implementation will not exceed $250,000 using Race to the Top (RT3) federal grant funds.

Details
Jobs for Georgia Graduates (JGG) is a school-to-work transition program designed to provide high school students with pre-employment skills training, leadership training, self-development activities, and 12 months of placement and follow-up after graduation.  The Jobs for Georgia Graduates Program is a state affiliate of the national Jobs for America’s Graduates (JAG) Program.   There are currently 34 states affiliated with this national program, which is one of the longest running school-to- work transition programs in the country.  The program’s main objective is to ensure student participants graduate from high school and transition into a positive outcome after graduation.  A positive outcome includes full-time or part-time employment, post-secondary education or enlistment in the military.  For the class of 2012, the JGG graduation rate was 96%, positive outcome rate 87% and DCSD achieved one of the highest further education rates in the JAG network at 64%. JGG is a partnership of local schools, businesses, communities and the Georgia Department of Labor.

There are several applications to the JAG Program Model.  One application serves only high school seniors.  The caseload range is from 40 to 45 students per high school.  The Multi-Year Program serves students in grades 9th, 10th, 11th, and 12th.  The Multi-Year Program recruits the students in the ninth grade and gives them an opportunity to remain in the program during all four years of high school. The Multi-Year Program provides a longer period of engagement with the students and includes summer work-based learning activities. The Multi-Year Program serves 40 t0 45 students each year per high school. Students will be served daily in both models.

Jobs for Georgia Graduates Goals:

  • Achieve a high school graduation rate of 90% or better
  • Achieve a positive outcome rate of 80% or better
  • Improve knowledge and employment skills of high school students
  • Produce qualified graduates for the labor market, postsecondary education or military
  • Provide students with self-development training to include community service projects and career counseling
  • Provide employers access to a pool of motivated, job-ready employees
  • Produce student gains in personal and academic development through remediation and counseling

Participating High Schools (Chosen by Graduation Rate)
Cross Keys (Region 1)
Clarkston (Region 3)
Lithonia (Region 4)
McNair (Region 5)
Towers (Region 5)

JGG includes a highly-qualified and caring Job Specialist assigned to each school to provide services to targeted students.  Students will be selected by an advisory committee composed of a school administrator, counselor, vocational education teacher, basic skills teacher and the job specialist.  Students will be targeted that have educational as well as personal barriers to academic and employment success. The Job Specialist is employed by the Georgia Department of Labor.  The Job Specialist reports to the school daily, enabling close connections to students, parents and teachers.  Job Specialists provide one-on-one and group employability skills training, counseling, advisement, mentoring, marketing as well as placement and follow up services to meet the individual needs of each student.  There is also a club component to the JGG Program called the Career Association.  All program participants are members of the Career Association.  The students participate in officer elections and an Initiation and Installation Ceremony.  Through the club, students engage in leadership development, career awareness as well as social and civic activities.   State and national leadership training conferences are also included in the program.

JGG provides opportunities for students to participate in annual competitions that include regional and state events.  Seniors are given the opportunity to compete in events such as: public speaking, decision-making, creative problem solving, employability skills, outstanding leadership, outstanding chapter manual and community service.   The Multi-Year Program which includes: 9th, 10th and 11th graders are given the opportunity to complete a career manual for competition.  Students are required to research three careers of their choice and write a 500 word essay.

Annual status reports will be provided to give progress reports and track student data to demonstrate program effectiveness.