JOBS for AMERICA'S GRADUATES

New Partnership Aims to Strengthen the Pipeline of Skilled Delta Students and Workers

$350,000 Investment in Jobs for America's Graduates to Help Young People across Delta Region        
     
DRA Chairman: "The best investment we can make in the future of the Delta is in building up a sustainable pipeline of skilled young people for our workforce."

WASHINGTON, DC - A new partnership aims to strengthen the pipeline of skilled students and workers across the Mississippi River Delta region, Federal leaders said today.  Delta Regional Authority Federal Co-Chairman Chris Masingill joined with Delaware Governor Jack Markell to launch a $350,000 investment into Jobs for America's Graduates, Inc.  The initiative, of which Governor Markell is the Chairman of the National Board, helps provide training assistance to students at-risk of dropping out of high school.

According to the new partnership, the Authority is committed to invest in JAG strategies that boost employment and educational success, including:

- Investing $350,000 into the DRA-service area, providing $20,000 to 10 Delta schools, $50,000 to the national JAG organization to implement these initiatives and another $50,000 in upcoming cycles.  The DRA has already invested $50,000 into the organization;

- Working with JAG to launch new programs in Alabama, Arkansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, and Tennessee;

- Serving an estimated 2,000 high-risk youth over the next four years;

- Helping develop personal and leadership skills for between 35-45 students in each school;

- Offering a cost-effective approach - with each participant costing an estimated $1,500 per year – less than half the national average of similar programs;

- Working to help each school secure at least 50 percent of the cost of the program.

The JAG program, which already operates in an estimated 850 high schools and serves nearly 42,000 youth in 33 states, has a proven track record among the most disadvantaged students - boosting employment among the poorest African-American youth in single-family households by 88 percent and the poorest Hispanic youth from single-parent households by 100 percent.

DRA Chairman Masingill said, "The best investment we can make in the future of the Delta is in building up a sustainable pipeline of skilled young people for our workforce. Today demonstrates that belief. This partnership with one of the nation's most successful job training organizations is going to develop opportunities for our people by investing in our people."

“Jobs for America’s Graduates is deeply grateful for the support of the Delta Regional Authority on behalf of young people across the Delta region.  This will help us keep young people in school and on target for graduation,” said Delaware Governor Jack Markell, Chairman of the Board of Jobs for America’s Graduates. “By reducing our high school dropout rate, we dramatically improve the chances of success of thousands of young people.  Education plays a critical role in our collective economic strength.”

Jobs for America’s Graduates, Inc. is the nation’s largest and, arguably, the most successful school-to-work system for at-risk and disadvantaged young people - helping more than 800,000 young people find the opportunity to move from school to a quality job that will lead to a meaningful and satisfying career.

The Delta Regional Authority is a federal-state partnership that serves 252 counties and parishes in parts of Alabama, Arkansas, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri and Tennessee.  Through a strong relationship with the United States Department of Agriculture, the Rural Communities Advancement Program funds regional initiatives with the guiding principal to create greater leverage for additional funding, collaboration, and partnerships with private and public resources for community and project investment in the Delta region.