Fremont Public Schools is one of three school districts in the state that will pilot a new program meant to help students develop job skills and explore career options, the district announced on Tuesday.
The program, known as “Jobs for America’s Graduates,” or JAG, is currently present in 34 states, according to its website.
According to a press release from Fremont Public Schools, the program “is designed to benefit students who face barriers to high school graduation.”
Students will complete four semester-long classes that will focus on social skills, job skills, career exploration and career development. Students participating in the program are required to have a job and maintain it throughout their participation.
A single instructor, Rae Dixon, will work with students to connect them to opportunities within the community and region to pursue employment and post-graduate careers, according to the press release.
In a prepared statement, Fremont High School principal Scott Jensen said he was “extremely excited” about the opportunities that the program could give to students.
“In Iowa and across the nation, JAG has the reputation of successfully helping students overcome obstacles to successfully transition from high school to post secondary education and careers,” he said.
The program will operate as a pilot program — a collaborative effort between the Nebraska Department of Labor and Department of Education. It will last three years, during which time it will be be affiliated with the Iowa JAG organization, which is known as iJAG.
“As I travel across the state, talking to businesses and economic development groups, one of their top priorities is developing the workforce we need to connect Nebraskans to great twenty-first century jobs,” Gov. Pete Ricketts said in a prepared statement. “The JAG program is a great opportunity that will help develop our people so they are more readily able to take advantage of these career opportunities.”
For the first two years, JAG-Nebraska’s funding will be entirely covered by iJAG, as well as the Nebraska Department of Labor and Department of Education. In the third year, each school district will be required to pay for one-third of the cost.
Students must apply and be interviewed for the program. Two of the eventual three sections have already started in Fremont Public Schools, beginning back in January, said Fremont Public Schools Superintendent Mark Shepard.
One of those sections is at the high school, while the other is being held at the Fremont Learning Center. In the fall, a third section will begin at the high school, Shepard said.