This week, national non-profit Jobs for America’s Graduates (JAG) recognized Minnesota for statewide efforts to lower drop-out rates and connect youth with higher education and jobs after high school. JAG awarded the local affiliate Job’s for Minnesota Graduates it’s most prestigious honor, the National Performance Award, after earning a 5 out of 5 rating in their yearly state assessments.
Jobs for Minnesota Graduates is a school-to-career program that seeks to raise student aspirations while teaching teamwork and leadership. The program also cultivates partnerships between schools, communities, and local/national businesses to help students transition from high school to the workforce.
The program tracks students as they leave the program to see how they are doing post-graduation. In Minnesota, 2011 graduates who participated in the program showed remarkable success just a year after high school:
• High School Graduation Rate: 97.94%
• Positive Outcomes Rate: 80.00%
• Aggregate Employment Rate: 60.00%
• Full-time Jobs Rate: 63.16%
• Full-time Placement Rate: 92.98%
• Pursuing Higher Education: 44.21%
These numbers are especially impressive considering two-thirds of Job’s for Minnesota Graduate participants are employed full-time compared to 26% of all teenagers who are currently working.
Ensuring our youth are supported from birth to career is a critical part of Minnesota’s economic success and development. This recognition comes as the Minnesota Department of Education, Office of Higher Education and MnSCU leaders Commissioner Cassellius, Director Pogemiller and Chancellor Rosenstone have begun efforts to align efforts from PK-20.
JAG is a state-based national non-profit organization that works to preventing dropouts among at-risk youth while connecting them to career development. The organization is overseen by of a Board of Directors that includes Governors Jack Markell (Delaware), Mike Beebe (Arkansas) and Mitch Daniels (Indiana).