What is Jobs for Georgia Graduates?
One of the ways the Georgia Department of Labor demonstrates a strong commitment to serving youth is through its Jobs for Georgia Graduates Program (JGG). Jobs for Georgia Graduates is a school-to-work transition program designed to provide high school students with pre-employment training, work skills, motivational activities, and job development. JGG provides follow-up services to increase the graduation rate and encourage a successful transition from school to work. JGG is also a partnership of local schools, businesses, communities, and the Georgia Department of Labor. This collaboration results in JGG graduates who are productive employees and involved community members.
JGG is a state affiliate of the national organization, Jobs for America’s Graduates (JAG), which has achieved extraordinary outcomes for youth for over three decades. JAG was founded in 1980 and has reached nearly three-quarters of a million young people in 33 state organizations and over 825 local program affiliates. Georgia became a state affiliate in 1987 and JGG has grown steadily since that time, currently serving students in 33 high schools across the state and the Georgia School for the Deaf - the only state school for students with hearing disabilities in the national JAG network. In 2000, the traditional Senior Program Model was expanded to a Multi-year Program Model, a five-year program providing early vocational assistance and guidance beginning in the ninth grade, at several sites. During the 2012-2013 school year, all JGG sites will convert to the Multi-year Program Model.
What are the major goals of JGG?
JGG Major Goals:
- Achieve a high school graduation rate of 90% or better for participating youth.
- Improve knowledge and employment skills of high school students.
- Produce qualified graduates for the labor market, postsecondary education, or the military.
- Provide student training and counseling.
- Provide employers access to a pool of motivated, job-ready employees.
- Produce student gains in personal and academic development through remediation and counseling.
What can JGG and its graduates do for employers?
- Provide access to a pool of motivated, job-ready, dependable entry level employees.
- Provide consistently productive employees because of the additional training and counseling they have received.
What are the JGG programs like and what schools have them?
Currently, JGG operates two types of program models and offers one or both in 34 sites throughout Georgia. The Senior Program Model offers services to students in the 12th grade only. The Multi-year Program Model services begin at the 9th grade level. A student participating in JGG from the 9th grade through the 12th grade receives approximately 720 hours of curriculum/classroom contact.
Examples from JGG’s curriculum include the following student and classroom activities:
- Identify occupational interests, aptitudes, and abilities
- Relate interests, aptitudes, and abilities to appropriate occupations
- Develop a career path for a selected occupation
- Construct a résumé
- Conduct a job search
- Use the telephone to arrange an interview
- Complete a job interview
- Demonstrate appropriate appearance for job interviews, regional competitions, and state conferences
- Learn what employers expect from employees
- Demonstrate team leadership as well as team membership
- Learn to base decisions on personal values and goals
- Prepare and conduct presentations to groups based on type and size of audience
What are some of JGG’s successes?
The Jobs for Georgia Graduates (JGG) Program has demonstrated remarkable success in improving the high school graduation rates of participating students. Accomplishments include:
- JGG has consistently maintained a 90% or higher graduation rate for program participants for the past ten years.
- The 2011 JGG graduating class of 857 youth achieved a 97% graduation rate, considerably higher than Georgia’s overall graduation rate.
- The positive outcome rate for the 2011 JGG graduating class was 90%, with 89% of participants in a full-time placement, including full-time jobs (50%), and further education (71%).
- The 2010 JGG graduating class of 905 youth achieved a 97% graduation rate, considerably higher than Georgia’s overall graduation rate.
- In 2010, 20 of 33 JGG programs in Georgia achieved a 100% graduation rate.
- The 2009 JGG graduating class of 875 youth achieved a 96% graduation rate, which is nearly 16 percentage points higher than Georgia’s overall graduation rate of 80.1%. Also, 63% of the graduates went on to further education.
- In 2009, 13 JGG programs achieved a 100% graduation rate. Nine programs met or exceeded all five JGG performance standards, while an additional six programs met four of five standards.
- The 2008 JGG graduating class of 794 youth achieved a 95% graduation rate, which is 20 percentage points higher than Georgia’s overall graduation rate of 75%.
- In 2008, ten JGG programs achieved a 100% graduation rate, and five met or exceeded all five JGG performance standards.
- The 2007 JGG graduating class of 895 youth achieved a 90% graduation rate, which is 18 percentage points higher than Georgia’s overall graduation rate of 72%.
- JGG’s 2007 performance outcomes were exemplary for African American males, with a 90% graduation rate.
- The number of 2007 graduates who enrolled in postsecondary programs with full-time enrollment and part-time jobs was 54%.
Strengths of the JGG program include highly-qualified and caring Job Specialists assigned to provide services to targeted program participants. Each Job Specialist identifies students who have vocational as well as personal barriers to employment, and invites them to participate. The JGG Job Specialist reports to an onsite office at the school daily, enabling close linkages with students, parents, and teachers. Job Specialists provide one-on-one and group employability skills training, counseling, advisement club activities, mentoring, marketing, and placement and follow up services – customized to meet the needs of each student.
Another important component of JGG is the annual student competition and recognition events. Seniors are given the opportunity to compete in seven different competitive events which include: public speaking, decision-making skills, creative problem solving, employability skills, outstanding leadership, outstanding chapter manual, and outstanding chapter activity. Students compete on the regional level and only the top winners advance to the state competition. The state winners are announced at JGG’s annual awards luncheon. The 9th, 10th, and 11th graders are given the opportunity to complete a career manual for competition. The students are required to research three careers of their choice and write a 500 word essay.
A great deal of the success of JGG can be attributed to the strong partnership among teachers and school officials, JGG Job Specialists, youth, parents, employers, and especially the GDOL Employer Committees. Both the state and local Employer Committees have been extremely supportive throughout the years by providing scholarships, monetary donations, and employment for JGG youth. All of JGG’s partners are fully committed to the same goal – student success.
Where is more information about JGG available?
Contact Us through the GDOL Service Directory