In 2013, former Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval was particularly impressed by the positive impact the Jobs for America’s Graduates (JAG) program was making in states across the country. That inspired him to establish Jobs for Nevada’s Graduates and the very next year, J4NG went statewide. In 2018, Governor Steve Sisolak grabbed the baton and underscored his continuation of support by joining the national JAG board. In the nine years since its inception, J4NG has served more than 14,500 youth. The high school graduation rate is a staggering 97.34%. Nearly 80% of students achieve full-time positive outcomes which means working full-time, in college, a vocational or certificate program, in the military, or some combination. J4NG is a great example of what happens when you put an adult who cares, into the life of a struggling student. While diplomas and jobs are significant, tangible results, J4NG is actually a launching pad to self-determination and success.
Low cost, high impact and decades of results
On a national level, Jobs for America’s graduates works wonders. Students have achieved 90%-plus graduation rates in 39 states over 40 years. Nevada statistics are even more impressive, a remarkable achievement when one considers the circumstances participants of the program were in. These are students often singled out for falling grades, falling attendance, and increasing behavioral problems. J4NG acts as gateway to career paths. High percentages of graduates find full-time work, go to college full-time, enter a vocational or certificate program, or balance some combination. J4NG delivers consistently solid outcomes at surprisingly low costs. Students receive a minimum of 120 contact hours per student per year at a cost of $11.66 per hour.
Graduation and Workforce Development Programs help 9th to 12th graders complete high school. An Employability Skills class is a requirement in all 51 schools where the program is embedded. After high school, J4NG continues to support students as they participate in the Workforce Pathways Program. They can get job skills training through an apprenticeship, accreditation program or post-secondary education. J4NG works with a who’s who in the region, like TESLA, Kinross, CSN, and many more.
The are 38 barriers that interfere with graduation and employment. These fall into categories: academic, economic, familial, and environmental. Students in the J4NG program typically arrive with an average of 7 barriers to remove. J4NG helps with everything from obtaining a work card, applying to college, accessing transportation, and even obtaining tools.
The SCE Credit Union connection
Ann Wozniak, Director of Development at J4NG describes the relationship with SCE Credit Union this way. “It’s one of support and shouting. They partner with us to provide financial literacy to the students and help us get the message out to the public and other community organizations.” Through SCE Credit Union, J4NG has gained access to The Center for Financial Empowerment (The CFE) the credit union’s own nonprofit. They conduct live simulations called “Mad City Money.” Adults take on the role of lenders, landlords, utilities, while students assume the role of adults coping with the basics of budgeting.
It’s wonderful working with a partner that understands how to make managing money easier for teens to understand,” Wozniak says. “They know what helps turn teens into successful adults.”
J4NG is a catalyst for change, ensuring students graduate high school, move on to higher education, or get on a fulfilling career path. The organization has a passion for students and is committed to seeing them fulfill their potential. SCE Credit Union is proud to partner with J4NG, a local force for a positive future.
Learn more at J4NG.org.