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News & Notes
Jobs for Delaware Graduates (JDG) is one of our state’s great success stories! It was designed in 1978 by five working groups in Delaware, drawn from business, educational, workforce, labor union, and community leadership. The purpose of the organization was to deal simultaneously with Delaware’s unemployment rate and the dropout rate.
Together, the public and private sector leaders of the state developed the model of Jobs for Delaware Graduates that had three essential components:
Holding someone accountable for ensuring that high-risk and disadvantaged students graduate from high school
Establishing for the first time the premise that the same individual would be held responsible for these young people’s successful transition from high school into work, college, or some combination for a full year
Establishing a highly motivational student organization -the Delaware Career Association. Patterned after the successful career and technical education organizations but customized to fit the particular needs of a high-risk population who, better than 90 percent reported, had never before been asked to join anything
In the first year, Jobs for Delaware Graduates achieved a 90% graduation rate, and more than 80% of the students went on to a job, college, or some combination.
When Jobs for Delaware Graduates was designed, about 70% of 16-24 year-olds were in the labor market. Today, only about 45% of that age group has jobs.
Worse, only about 26% of the most at-risk and disadvantaged youth across the nation are working. The latest independent analysis reports that JDG doubles the rate of employment for this at-risk population. JDG triples the rate of full-time employment (nearly 70% of those working) for this population group.
Further, even with the toughest graduation standards in American history – and tougher ones coming – JDG continues to deliver 90%+ graduation rates. It should be noted that last year our graduation rate was 93%.
Today more than 48,000 young people in Delaware have been served since the inception of the program. More than 200 employers rely on Jobs for Delaware Graduates for producing enthusiastic, well prepared, and effective new employees.
Through the years JDG has been funded by state and federal appropriations. All funds have been a direct benefit to students that participate in the program. However, the demand for our programs has grown far beyond funds available through our traditional sources. As a result JDG is seeking additional funding to meet the student demand.
I invite you to join get involved and join the JDG team. Take a moment to contatct us. I am sure that you will find involvement with Jobs for Delaware Graduates rewarding and enriching as together we build the foundation for employment throughout the State of Delaware.
Dr. Susanna Lee
Jobs for Delaware Graduates
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