Jobs for America's Graduates-South Carolina Receives National Honors

August 12, 2008

JAG-SC Honored as a 2007-2008 Top State Organization for Multi-Year Programs

COLUMBIA, SC – August 7, 2008 – The Jobs for America’s Graduates-South Carolina (JAG-SC) program took home top honors at a national conference for state JAG affiliates last month.  JAG-SC was honored as a 2007-2008 Top State Organization for Multi-Year Programs, and six individual career specialists from the 14 JAG-SC programs statewide were recognized at the 25th Annual National Training Seminar for Jobs for America’s Graduates.

By providing a mentor to kids most at risk, JAG-SC is working to accomplish the critical function of keeping students in school. Additionally, JAG-SC continues to demonstrate its success in giving students practical skills that will prepare them to enter the workforce. Thanks to the efforts and commitment of career specialists that are working diligently to help students prepare for the future, these students will continue to benefit now and in the years ahead, said Joe Taylor, South Carolina Secretary of Commerce.

We know that implementing education programs with a proven, measurable record of preparing young people for future careers is one of the keys to building a successful workforce, said Dr. Peggy Torrey, Deputy Secretary for Workforce Development.  JAG-SC is an important part of our overall strategy for workforce development.

The JAG-SC state organization was recognized in the following categories: Percentage of students served from the bottom 25 percent of academic performers; Percentage of economically disadvantaged students served; Average number of contact hours delivered per student; Percentage of knowledge gain on pre-test/post-test scores; Percentage of student barriers removed; Average number of community service hours per student.

Additionally, six career specialists from the 14 schools participating in the JAG-SC pilot project were recognized for their outstanding performances during the 2007-2008 school year.  Those recognized career specialists include:

  • Terry Sanders of Wade Hampton High School in Hampton County was recognized as a JAG High Performer for her efforts at marketing and public relations on behalf of the JAG-SC program in her community.
  • Dorothy Fore of Creek Bridge High School in Marion County was recognized as a JAG High Performer for her high average of student contact hours – 26.6 per week.
  • Students in LaTonya Houston’s JAG-SC class at McCormick High School in McCormick County averaged more than 48 hours of community service each, garnering her recognition as another High Performer.
  • Macinda Gail Blake at Rock Hill High School in York County, Jerron Cauthen at Lancaster High School in Lancaster County and Doreen Wingate at Darlington High School in Darlington County received Outstanding Specialist awards for above and beyond contributions to their schools and students.

JAG-SC employs an intensive curriculum based on developing real-world job skills to prevent at-risk students from dropping out of high school and helping them move towards successful careers.  The curriculum is reinforced through partnerships with the local businesses and community leaders, providing opportunities for students through internships, mentoring, guest speakers and summer or post-graduation employment.  The program is overseen by the South Carolina Department of Commerce.

JAG-SC is supported by funding from the State Workforce Investment Board and has been identified as an exceptional model by the South Carolina Department of Education’s At-Risk Student Committee.  Based on the program’s early success in 14 pilot programs throughout the state, a $150,000 JAG Growth Incentive Fund award, sponsored by Verizon, will allow the program to expand to five additional schools next year.  The award will be matched with funding from the South Carolina Department of Education and contributions from the South Carolina Department of Commerce.

For more information, visit the JAG-SC Web page at: