The establishment of a new, statewide organization devoted to keeping students in school and helping them with employment will help in reducing Washington’s dropout rate, said State Superintendent Randy Dorn.
Dorn made the comments Thursday night as part of the official launch of Jobs for Washington’s Graduates. The organization is part of Jobs for America’s Graduates.
“Not having a high school diploma can be a huge roadblock to a successful career,” said Dorn. “The great thing about JAG is that it not only keeps students in school but also exposes them to potential careers, teaches employability and leadership skills, so that they are employable.”
Washington became a state member of JAG in 2010. Jobs for Washington’s Graduates is a nonprofit organization with a board of directors. Its mission is to develop and support JWG programs in Washington state.
The JAG model targets three groups of students: school-to-career for seniors, a multi-year program for all high school students and an out-of-school program for students who have dropped out and want to reenter school.
Also in attendance at the launch were Ken Smith, JAG President, and Anthony Salcito, Worldwide Vice President of Education, Microsoft Corporation. Smith praised the Washington launch: “Jobs for America's Graduates is especially excited about the launch of Jobs for Washington State Graduates.
“Superintendent Dorn is a very committed leader who brings proven solutions to Washington State, especially for high-risk youth. His understanding of the importance of a leadership role by the private sector in helping to assure real job opportunities after graduation led to the establishment of Jobs for Washington’s Graduates. Many business leaders are committed to help support the nonprofit; it is a true public and private sector partnership on behalf of the young people of Washington State.”