Lincoln, Neb. — On Tuesday, Nebraska Governor Pete Ricketts joined the first-ever Jobs for America’s Graduates (JAG) virtual Governor’s news conference. JAG is a national nonprofit that over the past four decades has served 1.5 million youth in 1,450 locations across 40 states who face significant challenges. Governor Ricketts serves as a member of the national JAG Board of Directors.
Despite facing significant challenges, students engaged with Jobs for America’s Graduates overcame the numerous challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic to achieve a 96 percent graduation rate, exceeding the national average for all seniors.
The gathering was hosted by JAG President and CEO Ken Smith on the JAG National Facebook page.
Governor Ricketts is delighted with the 100% graduation rate in participating schools with an 85% positive outcome rate after graduation. Ricketts says 10 schools in 9 communities are now involved.
Kansas Governor Laura Kelly says JAG is in 78 Kansas schools and has seen a “phenomenal” graduation rate of 97% in the past three years.
Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds who serves as Vice-Chair of JAG, Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak, and Missouri First Lady Teresa Parson also participated in the news conference.
Participants said the enduring challenges to finding equitable pathways to success in school, at work and in life prompted the creation of JAG and, some 40 years later, are today dramatically compounded by the continued academic dislocations and economic disruptions of the COVID-19 virus.
Participants said left unaddressed, these challenges host the potential of creating a ‘lost generation’ of American youth.