As we’re working toward attracting and retaining talent in our region, one of the most vital components is focusing on our youth – the workforce of tomorrow. This requires partnerships in the region and commitment to not only sustain these partnerships, but to continue their growth.
That’s why organizations that specifically target young people like Job’s for America’s Graduates – and locally Jobs for Michigan’s Graduates – are so necessary. They not only assist youth but specifically at-risk youth who may need more guidance than the general public.
JAG is a state-based national nonprofit organization that’s dedicated to preventing young, at-risk people from dropping out of school. JAG has brought consistent, impressive results for at-risk youth throughout the country for the past 35 years, including supporting a million students as they finished high school, secured entry-level employment or pursued post-secondary education.
The JAG Model includes ten common elements, including:
- student selection
- classroom instruction
- adult mentoring
- leadership development
- guidance and counseling
- job and post-secondary education placement services
- linkages to school and community-based services
- 12-month follow-up services
- accountability system
- technical assistance with professional development
Jobs for Michigan’s Graduates, which brings JAG to Michigan, has been a statewide affiliate since 2008 and has programing in 18 Michigan cities. JMG provides dropout prevention and recovery services, utilizing techniques that have proven successful.
JMG continues to grow, from serving 407 students in 2013-2014 to 807 in 2014-2015, and this coming year 2015-2106 JMG will serve 1600 students due to investment in key Michigan urban locations such as Detroit, Lansing, Grand Rapids, Kalamazoo, Flint and Benton Harbor.
This past year, 94 percent of JMG freshmen through junior students returned and alumni from the class of 2014 have a 97 percent graduation rate. Looking specifically at the JMG alumni in Lansing from the class of 2014, the graduation rate was 100 percent.
Also in the Lansing region, job placement was at 55.56 percent, full-time outcomes was 61 percent and further education was 33.3 percent. Overall, 83.3 percent of JMG Class of 2014 students in our region had positive outcomes, which includes employment, post-secondary education or military.
These results wouldn’t be possible without the support staff who really make a difference in these students’ lives.
For example, our region is fortunate to have JMG specialists like Jill LaNew, who was one of the specialists awarded the Jobs for America’s Graduates National Outstanding Specialist Award at the National Training Seminar in New Orleans, Louisiana, in July and the Jobs for Michigan’s Graduates (JMG) Specialist of the Year Award in April for her performance, dedication and commitment to the JMG program at Woodcreek Achievement Center in Lansing.
Capital Area Michigan Works! partners with JMG in the Lansing School District at Woodcreek Achievement Center and in the Potterville High School through Eaton Regional Education Service Agency (RESA).
Students who attend a school with a JMG program can contact the JMG specialist for more information. For more information about Jobs for Michigan’s Graduates, visit http://kinexus.org/what-we-do/workforcedevelopment/jmg/pages/default.aspx.