4.1 Ken Smith, Jobs for America's Graduates


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Topics discussed in this episode include:The dramatic origin of JAG in Delaware, a State that was then in trouble but the Governor found a way to invest in JAG and it became a national model.How the Governors are key to getting a JAG program going by bringing together industry as employers with the high schools which have the students.  The work experience leads not only to jobs but to high graduation rates as stated above. JAG now features project-based learning that involves industry from the beginning in program design.Industry participates not only because they get to see potential future employees, but because many business people have an instinct to help and love teaching.  Students often refer to JAG and their employers as a second family.The high schools are also bought in because JAG works with that troubled segment of the population that often drops out.  So, with their 90%+ graduation rate, they improve the schools reputation and even its budget.This success helps JAG with funding centrally, but the main operation is at the local level where high schools, employers, and JAG folks put in long hours to help these students succeed. JAG is one of the largest and oldest of these programs in the country.Ken points out that this operation is not “rocket science.”  We know what to do.  It is hard work, but it is possible. JAG’s success over the years proves it, even in a pandemic.Music Credits: C’est La Vie by Derek Clegg