PIERRE, S.D. - Attorney General Marty Jackley and Secretary of Education Don Kirkegaard announced today that their offices have joined with AT&T to further invest in the Jobs for America’s Graduates program.
The South Dakota Department of Education has received $30,000 in funds from the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division to expand JAG programming in the state. Additionally, AT&T, a supporter of JAG-National, is providing a $30,000 incentive grant for new programming and a $15,000 sustaining grant.
JAG is a state-based national nonprofit organization dedicated to improving graduation rates and academic achievement for at-risk students. The program is implemented at the school level through the work of teachers called JAG specialists, who work with students to develop leadership and employability skills.
During the 2017-18 school year, 237 South Dakota students in seven school districts participated in JAG. Nine of these students represented South Dakota at the JAG National Student Leadership Academy in November 2017.
“One of the greatest challenges South Dakota employers face is finding ready and able young workers. Jobs for America’s Graduates is already at work in South Dakota and is vital to assisting in the expansion of educational and employment opportunities for our youth,” said Jackley.
“JAG students have consistently seen great success in South Dakota,” said Kirkegaard. “This program provides the support they need to develop their potential in the classroom and beyond. We are grateful for this opportunity to expand JAG in our state.”
“As a company, we are committed to supporting students in our community so they can succeed in 21st century careers to support building the diverse workforce we need in South Dakota communities and across the country,” said Cheryl Riley, President of AT&T Northern Plains. “JAG and Jobs for South Dakota Graduates has a proven track record of success and this funding will provide even more students the opportunity to thrive through the program.”
The awarding of these funds out to schools will be announced later in the summer.
“Across 1,250 communities, Jobs for America’s Graduates serves young people of great promise so they may reach their full potential,” said JAG President Ken Smith. “AT&T’s contribution in South Dakota will help us reach more students who can benefit from the JAG program. We are delighted to work with Attorney General Jackley, who serves on our National Board, Secretary Kirkegaard and our friends at AT&T to bring the success of JAG to more young South Dakotans in our collective mission to help America’s future leaders fulfill their highest promise.”
Attorney General Jackley was appointed to the JAG National Board of Directors in September of 2017.