Recognizing Delaware as the Founding State
The Board of Directors of Jobs for America's Graduates, Chaired by Governor Jack Markell, held its semi-annual meeting on May 17 in Wilmington, Delaware. Participating in the Board meeting were Governor John deJongh, Jr. of the Virgin Islands; Washington State Superintendent of Public Instruction Randy Dorn; the Executive Vice President of Verizon, Tom Tauke, and 20 other senior business, education and community leaders who make up the Board of Jobs for America's Graduates, which is currently serving 42,000 high-risk youth in 33 states.
Delaware was the founding state and modeled the Jobs for America's Graduates program under the leadership of Governor Pete du Pont following the success of Jobs for Delaware Graduates as the initial “test site” for the JAG Model. On a national scale as well as in Delaware, Jobs for America's Graduates has a consistent and compelling track record of extraordinary success in helping young people succeed in school, on the job, and in college.
Results for Class of 2010 across 33 states:
- The Graduation Rate was 94%, exceeding the JAG national standard of 90%.
- The Aggregate Employment Rate was 54%, falling below the JAG national standard of 60%.
- The Full-time Jobs Rate was 67%, exceeding the JAG national standard of 60%.
- The Full-Time Placement Rate was 88%, exceeding the JAG national standard of 80%. This is the percentage of graduates engaged in full-time employment or a combination of employment and postsecondary education.
- The Positive Outcome Rate was 79% falling short ofthe JAG national standard of 80%. The positive outcomes include civilian or military employment and/or enrollment in a postsecondary education institution.
- The Further Education Rate was 47% – one of the highest in JAG history.
In Delaware, the JAG program currently operates in 28 schools, serving approximately 2,250 young people – by far the largest youth-serving organization in the state, focused on helping young people succeed in school and ensuring their transition into jobs, college, or some combination, with follow-up support services to each student for a full 12 months after leaving school.
The Jobs for America's Graduates, Inc. Board traveled to Delaware for the purpose of better understanding the impact that Jobs for Delaware Graduates has had over three decades, and the continued efforts of Jobs for Delaware Graduates in extending its reach to be even more effective.
Governor Markell announced the commitment to bring the success of Jobs for Delaware Graduates to ten middle school programs beginning in the fall, based on the success of the JAG Middle School Model that was tested in Maine over a period of seven years. Jobs for America's Graduates and Governor Markell are responding to the strong guidance from educational leaders across the country about the critical point of intervention in middle school that helps to motivate, engage and connect young people to education and the crucial role it plays in their future success.
As a part of Governor Markell’s commitment to middle schools, Delaware continues to be a leader among the 32 other states operating JAG Model programs.
On the evening of May 16, the Board of Directors gathered for a working dinner at the Buena Vista Conference Center, focused on the success, impact, challenges and future opportunities of Jobs for Delaware Graduates.
In addition to Governor Markell, speaking at the dinner was Delaware Governor Pete du Pont, who founded Jobs for Delaware Graduates and Jobs for America's Graduates more than three decades ago.
Ken Smith introduced George Martin, Executive Director of the NFL Alumni, as JAG’s newest partner—the NFL Alumni. There are promising opportunities for JAG states to partner with the 27 NFLA chapters.
Following a review of program results, Dr. Susanna Lee, President/CEO of Jobs for Delaware Graduates, introduced three students to share their stories which made a memorable impression on JAG Board members. Those providing testimonials were:
- John “C.J.” Cepeda, Thomas McKean High School
- Kym Wright, James H. Groves High School
- Fred Green, Christiana High School
Board member Sieg Behrens with Microsoft was so impressed with the three young men’s success stories that he presented each with a laptop.
Delaware’s Senior Senator Tom Carper also attended the dinner and was recognized for his leadership in expanding the reach and impact of Jobs for Delaware Graduates to nearly every high school in the state while he served as Governor.
Governor Markell said, “We could not be more pleased to have such a remarkable group of national leaders from the public and private sectors come to Delaware to better assess the success and impact of Jobs for Delaware Graduates. The focus of our meeting will be on what JDG may provide in the way of guidance for the future direction of the national organization and the 32 other states that have implemented the model begun in Delaware. I am personally committed, as I know are my colleagues in the legislature and from the private sector here in Delaware, to continually enhance the impact and reach of Jobs for Delaware Graduates.”
“As part of the continuous improvement and enhancement of the impact, I have been pleased to announce that the JAG Middle School Model will be in more middle schools in Delaware in the coming school year.”
“Delaware plans to continue to be in the leader in the nation for building on one of America’s great success stories of young people – a success story that all began here in Delaware – the First State.”