Jobs for Georgia Graduates

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 a million young people in 33 state organizations and over 1,162 local program affiliates. Georgia became a state affiliate in 1987 and JGG has grown steadily since that time, currently serving students in 22 high schools across the state.

Jobs for Georgia Graduates Events

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?
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.

Jobs for Georgia Graduates Program Sites

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. The Class of 2016 achieved the following performance outcomes:

  • 99.5% Graduation Rate 
  • 63.75% Total Civilian Job Placements and Military Service 
  • 93% Total Positive Outcome 
  • 61% Total in Full-time Jobs 
  • 91% Total in full-time Placement 
  • 62% Further Education Rate 

The 2017 Jobs for Georgia Graduates Conference was held in Macon, Georgia on March 3, 2017.  The state program celebrated its 30th Anniversary with well over 500 students representing 21 high schools from throughout the state.  The theme for this year’s conference was “It’s Time.” Students were asked to finish that statement and their remarks were included in the program booklet.  Students made comments such as It’s time … “to stop playing games and make a change”, “to shine”, “to get uncomfortable”, “for world peace”, “to stop poverty”, “to strengthen people who never achieved their dreams”. Corporate sponsors for this year’s conference included Archer Daniel Midlands (ADM) and Regions Bank. 

The conference offered an Opening Session, State Competition, workshops and an Awards Luncheon. The workshops were facilitated by industry professionals to include Regions Bank, Beasley Flooring and First Quality Packing Solutions.  The workshop topics were entitled Employer Expectations, Banking Basics for Students and Job Survival Skills.  The conference culminated in an Awards Luncheon where we heard from Labor Commissioner Mark Butler who gave Opening Remarks.  We also heard from the first-place winner of the Public Speaking Competition who delivered a five-minute speech based upon the theme, “How Can I Be An Agent of Change”.  Our keynote speaker was Monica Swayne, LCSW, LLC Counseling and Consulting Services.

The conference promised to inform, educate, and inspire us but during the process, we were transformed because we were taught that “It’s Time for us all to be “Agents of Change.

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 corporate sponsors.

A Public-Private Partnership has been established in Augusta, Georgia that offers manufacturing jobs and education to students who need an alternate route in obtaining their High School diploma.  This partnership exists between Textron Specialized Vehicles Inc. and the Richmond County School System.  The program is referred to as Reaching Potential Through Manufacturing (RPM).  It combines an instructional day with a four-hour shift at a manufacturing facility.  Besides the manufacturing floor, the facility includes classroom and educational space to allow student to make progress toward their high-school diploma and earn valuable work experience and income.  Students currently enrolled in a Richmond County High School can apply for acceptance to the RPM.  Acceptance is based upon financial need and students who are behind academically and have a high number of absences.  The students work a four-hour shift and earn $8.00 an hour with pay incentives based upon attendance and work performance.  Textron has provided an Operations Manager and shift supervisors to work with the students. Each student is enrolled in the Jobs for Georgia Graduates Program which allows the Job Specialist to teach a competency and then watch the students demonstrate the competency throughout their shift. Upon graduating from their home school, follow up services will be provided to include transitioning into full-time employment (potentially Textron), post-secondary education or the military.

Where is more information about JGG available?
Contact Us through the GDOL Service Directory