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Outstanding Support for Jobs for Tennessee’s Graduates
Jobs for Tennessee Graduates (JTG) is a state program coordinated within the Division of Career & Technical Education funded in partnership with the Tennessee Department of Education and the Department of Labor & Workforce Development. Each year the National JAG organization meets in Washington D.C. and recognizes many of the JAG programs. At the National Leadership Awards Lunch in November one of the programs recognized was Jobs for Tennessee Graduates. Marla Rye received the JAG National Above & Beyond Award and Susan Cowden received the JAG National Workforce Development Leadership Award. Both were nominated by colleagues and honored for their leadership and contributions to the JAG organization. Once back in their home state of Tennessee both attended the most recent Workforce Development Board meeting to celebrate the above mentioned National awards.
Susan Cowden works for the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development and is the Administrator of the Workforce Development Division of the Tennessee Department of Labor & Workforce Development. For the past eight years she has worked tirelessly for the youth of Tennessee through her efforts to support Jobs for Tennessee Graduates; and was an advocate of the program prior to that. She has supported the Tennessee programs at the state level and through her current job at the national and local levels. The program has seen outstanding job placement rates, graduation rates, and further education rates during her tenure in Tennessee. Susan Cowden is very deserving of the JAG National Workforce Development Leadership Award.
Marla Rye is the recipient of the Above & Beyond Award. She is President of Workforce Essentials, Inc., Local Workforce Investment Area 10. Workforce Essentials, Inc., one of Tennessee’s highest performing Workforce Investment Boards, is recognized as a “model organization”. They have been dedicated to helping students reach the highest standards of achievement. Whether transitioning from high school to a postsecondary education or workforce preparation that leads to a successful career. Workforce Essentials, Inc. has continually achieved a high-performance status since they started managing the Jobs for Tennessee Graduates programs. The graduation rate for the class of 2010 was over 98%. There were 313 seniors served in the senior JAG model in the communities where there is a Jobs for Tennessee Graduates program. The WIB also had an 80% job placement rate for students and 45% of those students went on to post-secondary education. In an economic climate of cuts in federal job training funds, a new program was added with their own funds. Workforce Essentials has continually gone “Above and Beyond” by working with JTG programs. These programs have produced JAG National “Five of Five” regional recognition for the last five years. In addition, they have met the academic benchmarks of Jobs for Tennessee Graduates for the in-school youth programs. It is this continued and tireless commitment to the development of young people through JAG that makes the Tennessee programs a great success.