Dear Friends of Jobs for America’s Graduates,
As you can imagine, JAG Affiliates and students have been directly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic due to school closings and the increasing number of layoffs. JAG participants and their families may have been hit the soonest, the hardest, and will likely be impacted for the longest. At a time when we must practice social distancing to protect each other, the 75,000 JAG students we serve need us now more than ever.
JAG is often a lifeline for our students and they need ongoing support during (and after) this crisis. JAG’s 37 State Affiliates are working with partner districts to be sure the nearly 18,000 JAG seniors due to graduate in 8-10 weeks not only do so, but have the competencies needed to secure employment in what is sure to be a very competitive job market ahead and/or enroll in post-secondary education. In addition, all 75,000 students need emotional support from JAG Specialists during this incredibly stressful time.
We also recognize JAG’s 1,400 Specialists must have online access to training modules in the JAG Model program as well as our JAG Advantage enhancements (Project Based Learning, Trauma Informed Care and Employer Engagement.) Simultaneously, we need to provide training so facilitators can effectively deliver our modules in our new virtual world. JAG National, our Affiliates and Specialists are creating and implementing these new practices to continue JAG’s data-driven model virtually so we remain accountable to our students, partners, and funders.
We cannot do this alone. We need your help. Below are ways we hope you’ll consider to support JAG staff and students in this emergency.
- Emergency content development for JAG Model program: Financial support to help JAG cover production costs for critical training content to deliver the JAG Model virtually. It will take an estimated 2,800 hours, essentially seven fulltime contractors, to create virtual content to replace in-person JAG Model training and workshops (previously scheduled for July in Las Vegas at the National Training Seminar.) JAG will now hold this professional development conference virtually the same week. Support will help cover the cost to onboard new content developers to create the critical professional development to Specialists, which will benefit tens of thousands of participating JAG students.
- Training for JAG Specialists: It’s not only content. JAG’s 1,400 Specialists must have online training to deliver the JAG Model program modules, as well as our JAG Advantage enhancements (Project Based Learning, Trauma Informed Care and Employer Engagement), virtually. Effective virtual teaching is much different than teaching in the classroom, and JAG Specialists must provide virtual support and employability skills competency training to students so they are prepared to enter the labor market and post-secondary education in only 8-10 weeks.
- JAG Genius: JAG’s new learning management system, the JAG Genius, is JAG’s all-resource portal. It allows for training, sharing of best practices and resources, peer-to-peer contact, and discussion for JAG Staff and Specialists across our national network. Originally intended to onboard JAG’s 37 Affiliates incrementally, JAG National is on-boarding all JAG Staff and Specialists now so they become familiar with the site and receive the critical training and resources referenced above. Support for the JAG Genius will help us cover the cost of personnel to support, manage and troubleshoot for JAG National Network users; develop training content in navigating the Genius and its resources; offset the cost of the approximately 1,750 annual licenses; and further develop the site to provide access to students in the future, anticipating that “virtual JAG” will continue long after this crisis is over in order to reach more students.
- General Operating Support: In a time of economic uncertainty, general operating funds are necessary to respond to unanticipated expenses at the national and affiliate levels. Every dollar helps to assure that JAG and our National Network stay operating at full capacity to support our students, their families, and communities during this emergency and long after.
For 40 years, and in all economic environments, JAG has been fortunate to partner with the private and public sectors and leaders who recognize JAG’s positive impact and the incredible outcomes our students achieve. Now, more than ever, we need your help to ensure that highly vulnerable students nationwide receive consistent, uninterrupted service and support during this unprecedented crisis.
Thank you for your consideration. Please reach out to Brittany Mazin or me with questions or donations.
To donate, please click here.
Janelle Duray, Executive Vice President, JAG