JOBS for AMERICA'S GRADUATES

President Obama Recognizes JAG Credentialing Strategy

President Obama recognized Jobs for America's Graduates and two other youth-serving organizations that have agreed to establish goals for substantially expanding opportunities for young people to earn skills credentials over the next five years.

Ken Smith and Mike D’Ambrose (JAG Board member and Senior Vice President of HR for Archer Daniels Midland) attended the national press event at Northern Virginia Community College, where the President commended Jobs for America's Graduates and the two other participating organizations for helping to expand the credentialing process to boost employment opportunities for young people.  The President also commended JAG for its commitment to creating greater career awareness of opportunities in the manufacturing sector.

Following a lengthy discussion at the early May JAG Board of Directors meeting, JAG established a new national goal of helping 30,000 of our young people over the next five years receive credentials that are valued in the workplace and their communities.  These credentials will substantially enhance their opportunities for gaining quality jobs, based on employer demand in each local area.

All of this follows the extensive discussion at the JAG Board of Directors meeting earlier in May, under the leadership of Governor Markell, regarding the urgent need to find new ways to give our young people an “edge” in the labor market.  The Board concluded that there are serious short- and long-term challenges for teenagers in finding work, and that these challenges are likely to persist for years to come, given the enormous number of people competing for a relatively small number of new and existing jobs.

JAG is partnering with the Manufacturing Institute’s National Center for the American Workforce, which has an extensive credentialing system that will be made available to JAG.  Archer Daniels Midland has generously agreed to serve as JAG’s lead business partner in engaging businesses across the nation in support of the credentialing initiative.  Considerable work lies ahead in developing JAG’s credentialing strategy since it will be based on local market demands.

For more information, contact: jag@jag.org.