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Dorn Announces Launch of Jobs for
Washington’s Graduates Organization

OLYMPIA — October 21, 2011 — The establishment of a new, statewide organization devoted to keeping students in school and helping them with employment will help in reducing Washington’s dropout rate, said State Superintendent Randy Dorn.

Dorn made the comments Thursday night as part of the official launch of Jobs for Washington’s Graduates. The organization is part of Jobs for America’s Graduates.

“Not having a high school diploma can be a huge roadblock to a successful career,” said Dorn. “The great thing about JAG is that it not only keeps students in school but also exposes them to potential careers, teaches employability and leadership skills, so that they are employable.”

Washington became a state member of JAG in 2010. Jobs for Washington’s Graduates is a nonprofit organization with a board of directors. Its mission is to develop and support JWG programs in Washington state.

The JAG model targets three groups of students: school-to-career for seniors, a multi-year program for all high school students and an out-of-school program for students who have dropped out and want to reenter school.

Also in attendance at the launch were Ken Smith, JAG President, and Anthony Salcito, Worldwide Vice President of Education, Microsoft Corporation. Smith praised the Washington launch: “Jobs for America's Graduates is especially excited about the launch of Jobs for Washington State Graduates.

“Superintendent Dorn is a very committed leader who brings proven solutions to Washington State, especially for high-risk youth. His understanding of the importance of a leadership role by the private sector in helping to assure real job opportunities after graduation led to the establishment of Jobs for Washington’s Graduates. Many business leaders are committed to help support the nonprofit; it is a true public and private sector partnership on behalf of the young people of Washington State.”

How JAG works
In the JAG model, the goal for each student is three-fold:

  1. Graduation
  2. Job placement
  3. Post-secondary education/military service/internship

Based on research studies, JAG has compiled a list of 35 barriers to success, such as low academic performance, a past record of excessive absences and family income. Students who are accepted into the program complete a profile that asks them to identify all of their barriers. Removing as many of those barriers as possible is a chief component of the program and will help students succeed.

Barriers are most often removed through the JAG curriculum, which is based on competencies. In partnership with employers and educators, JAG has identified a total of 88 competencies for all students, from middle school to those who had dropped out. The competencies are divided into 20 sections, including job survival competencies, economic empowerment competencies and life survival skills.

Washington is the only JAG state that ties the JAG program to career and technical education classes. This gives students skills training along with JAG training. And beginning this year, students can begin receiving credentials for certain classes they take, which can lead to industry certification.

Before the launch of Jobs for Washington’s Graduates, Dorn spoke at the JAG Board of Directors meeting. Dorn, a board member, emphasized the need to for programs like JWG, especially in tough economic times. “I’m a big believer in creating as many paths as possible to get students to succeed,” he said. “The JAG model has been around for many years, and it has been successful. It’s shown thousands of students that they’re potential isn’t limited, that with education and training they can do anything they want.

“It’s the kind of model that will help thousands of students in the future, too.”

 

About OSPI
The Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) is the primary agency charged with overseeing K-12 education in Washington state. Led by State School Superintendent Randy Dorn, OSPI works with the state’s 295 school districts and nine Educational Service Districts to administer basic education programs and implement education reform on behalf of more than one million public school students.

OSPI does not discriminate and provides equal access to its programs and services for all persons without regard to race, color, gender, religion, creed, marital status, national origin, sexual preference/orientation, age, veteran’s status or the presence of any physical, sensory or mental disability.

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CONTACT:
Nathan Olson
OSPI Communications Manager
(360) 725-6015

The OSPI Communications Office serves as the central point of contact for local, regional and national media covering K-12 education issues.

Communications Manager
Nathan Olson
(360) 725-6015

Assessment Communications Manager
Chris Barron
(360) 725-6032

 

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