The Indiana Department of Workforce Development (DWD) announced that it has expanded the Jobs for America’s Graduates (JAG) high school dropout prevention program to Gary West Side Leadership Academy. This expansion is a direct result of continued support by Governor Mike Pence for a program that has enjoyed tremendous success.
During the 2013 session of the Indiana General Assembly, legislators passed a version of Governor Pence’s budget, which called for $12 million over two years to fund the dropout prevention program, effectively doubling the size. As a result, Indiana’s JAG program is now the largest in the nation.
Over the past eight years, the Hoosier JAG program has increased the graduation rate of its participants to 90 percent and has seen a 77 percent placement in post-secondary education/training, full-time job or military placement. During that same time, JAG has grown from 12 programs to 116.
“We are extremely pleased that Governor Pence continues to see the value of the JAG program by making it a significant priority,” said Scott B. Sanders, Commissioner of the Indiana Department of Workforce Development. “Helping our most at-risk students understand the value of their education and remain in school through graduation and beyond is so very important to making Indiana a state that works.”
JAG is a multi-year dropout prevention program designed to keep at-risk high school juniors and seniors in school through graduation and to provide work-based learning experiences that enable them to achieve the skills necessary for post-secondary education or entering the job market. JAG students receive adult mentoring while in school and one year of follow-up counseling after graduation. Many JAG locations are near career and technical educational programs and when these two are paired together the results have proven to be highly successful at preparing students for both current and future workforce needs. The JAG program is funded through grants provided by the Indiana Department of Workforce Development. More information about Indiana’s JAG program can be found at www.in.gov/dwd/2446.htm.