Indiana Governor Eric J. Holcomb has announced a goal to expand Jobs for America’s Graduates (JAG) to 250 programs in Indiana by the 2024-2025 school year.
The Indiana Department of Workforce Development (DWD) has partnered with the Family and Social Services Administration (FSSA), which will invest more than $23.1 million in Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) block grants to realize this expansion from 125 to 250 programs in the state.
“Every day, Indiana’s JAG program is helping more Hoosier students achieve their career and personal goals—all while helping ensure our state is prepared to meet 21st century workforce demands,” Holcomb said. “With this expansion, more Hoosier communities and schools will be taking advantage of JAG’s proven results and experience the positive effects of partnerships at the state, regional and local levels.”
JAG is a resiliency-building workforce program that helps Hoosier high school students encountering significant barriers to graduation learn in-demand employability skills and receive career exploration and coaching experiences. JAG programming provides a structured bridge to successful post-secondary education and workforce opportunities. JAG Indiana has served 40,000 Hoosier youth and graduated more than 95% of its students from high school since its inception in 2006.
There are 13 JAG programs at 12 schools in northeast Indiana. Northeast Indiana Works oversees the JAG programs locally and they are carried out by Brightpoint.
The DWD/FSSA partnership aims to launch 40 new JAG programs at Indiana high schools or college campuses by January 2024, another 45 programs by August 2024, and an additional 40 programs by January 2025. Once fully implemented, JAG Indiana’s footprint will double to impact an estimated 10,000 Hoosier high school students per year.
“The skills students obtain while in JAG go beyond just getting a job; they leave high school as leaders in their community, they’re more confident and they have a sense of purpose,” said DWD Commissioner Richard Paulk. “The growth of Indiana’s JAG program ensures opportunities for a new generation of student leaders across our state.”