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BATON ROUGE, La. – Louisiana’s Jobs for America’s Graduates (JAG-LA) program received national recognition for its work helping students, earning JAG National’s 5 of 5 Performance Award for the 16th year in a row.
The award recognizes states that meet or exceed all five performance measures set by the national organization for being consistent in quality and high achievement levels for student outcomes.
“It comes as no surprise to me that JAG-LA is receiving the JAG National’s 5 of 5 Performance Award for the 16th year in a row, said Gov. John Bel Edwards. “JAG-LA’s record of success is one reason that, when I first came into office, I made a commitment to double the number of JAG-LA programs. Part of the JAG mission is to find ways to help the most vulnerable and underserved youth succeed in school, on the job, and in college. The accomplishments of JAG-LA are undeniable, and it is my honor to serve as chairperson of the Job for America’s Graduates Board of Directors.”
JAG-LA achieved a 98 percent graduation rate for the class of 2020. More than 86 percent of students ended up in a full-time job after graduating from JAG-LA, an all-time high. In fact, JAG has always had high levels of success, but during the depths of the pandemic, it achieved some of its best results ever.
JAG-LA’s core program is dedicated to providing opportunities for students challenged with life and learning hurdles, including academic, social, behavioral and economic challenges. Students gain life skills outside of the classroom through internships, job shadowing, leadership retreats and community service projects.
“JAG-LA has a proven track record of ensuring the success of some of our state’s most vulnerable and disadvantaged young people,” said Louisiana Workforce Commission Secretary Ava Cates. “We’re proud to see JAG-LA earn this coveted award, knowing it means a brighter future is ahead for Louisiana’s youth.”
Now in its 26th year, JAG-LA currently serves over 7,500 students with more than 140 programs spread across 38 parishes. An additional 1,200 students who completed the program last year are receiving follow-up services.
The program maintains a culture of high expectations and accountability by consistently tracking and responding to the outcomes and always keeping students at the center of the educational process. JAG-LA is continually recognized for consistent quality and level of achievement for its student outcomes during the 12 months of required follow-up.
“Louisiana has something very special with JAG-LA,” said JAG President Ken Smith. “It has delivered some of the best results in our entire network while doubling in scale to take on the challenge of the pandemic. Further, Louisiana employers are about to have thousands of job-ready and enthusiastic new workers as graduation is achieved that will be looking for good jobs leading to great careers.”
Nationally, JAG operates in 39 states, helping more students each year work toward graduation followed by meaningful work or postsecondary education. The organization has a 40-year track record and has proven to be the country’s most effective dropout prevention/dropout recovery program.
LWC became the sole manager of JAG-LA in 2019 when lawmakers voted to transfer its staff and operations from the Louisiana Department of Education. To learn more about JAG, visit http://www.jag.org/.
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