JAG-SC gets national honors - WMBFNews.com, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

JAG-SC gets national honors

COLUMBIA, SC (WMBF) - The Jobs for America's Graduates-South Carolina (JAG-SC) program received national recognition at the JAG national conference held in Washington, DC this week.

Secretary Joe Taylor was the award recipient of the "Government Leader Award" at the annual Jobs for America's Graduates 2009 National Leadership Awards Event.

Taylor was recognized for his consistent support of the Jobs for America's Graduates-South Carolina program and commitment to aneconomic development strategy that promotes coordinated workforce development initiatives designed to align South Carolina's emerging labor force with the future needs of South Carolina's economic environment.

"Secretary Taylor's consistent support has contributed greatly to the success of the state's JAG-SC students in graduating from high school and transitioning into post-secondary education or the workforce," said Dr. Peggy Torrey, Deputy Secretary for Workforce. "We know that implementing education programs with a proven record of preparing young people for future careers and providing students with the skills they need to compete in today's economy is the key to building a successful workforce. We thank Secretary Taylor for his support in helping to grow and develop this rewarding program."

South Carolina is being represented by 117 youth at this week's JAG National Student Leadership Conference being held in conjunction with the Leadership Awards Events in Washington. These students will be participating in national competitive events related to public speaking and employability skills. They will also participate in leadership workshops designed to develop their personal leadership skills. State programs across the 32-state JAG network are represented.

JAG-SC is a dropout prevention program for high school students that began in 2005 and is funded through the State Workforce Investment Board. JAG-SC currently operates in 20 schools statewide. The program initially launched as a pilot project in 2005 utilizing State Workforce Investment Board funds in 14 schools. Six additional schools were added in program year 2008-2009 through the underwriting support of the National Jobs for America's Graduates, Verizon, the South Carolina Department of Education, and the AT&T Foundation.

Earlier this year, the JAG-SC program was honored as a "Top State Organization for Multi-Year Programs" and several program leaders for JAG-SC were recognized at the 26th annual National Training Seminar for Jobs for America's Graduates. Among other awards, the state's program was recognized as a top performing organization for its "Extraordinary Graduation Rate." JAG-SC achieved a 92 percent graduation rate among its senior class in 2008-2009.

JAG-SC was recognized as a "Top Performing State Organization" for the following categories: "Unable to Contact Rate" of zero for the class of 2008-2009, "Positive Outcomes Rate" for the class of 2008-2009 and "Extraordinary Graduation Rate" for the class of 2008-2009. JAG-SC's class of 2008-2009 was the first group of students to complete four years in the JAG-SC program and the senior class graduated 92 percent of its students.

JAG-SC has received national recognition in years past as well. The program was honored as a "2007-2008 Top State Organization for Multi-Year Programs" at the 25th Annual National Training Seminar for Jobs for America's Graduates.

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