(DES MOINES) – Gov. Kim Reynolds and Lt. Gov. Adam Gregg announced a $100,000 gift from AT&T at Boone High School on Tuesday to expand the Iowa Jobs for America’s Graduates (iJAG) program.
iJAG helps raise high school graduation rates and support career paths for underserved students. Because of its success in keeping kids in school, iJAG was one of 34 state affiliates selected to share in $3.5 million from AT&T.
AT&T’s gift is matched by $205,000 in public and private sector contributions over two years.
Those contributions include:
· $96,658/year for two years from the Iowa Division of Vocational Rehabilitation;
· $63,500 from the John Deere Foundation;
· $30,000 from the Black Hawk Gaming Association;
· $10,000 from the R.J. McElroy Trust; and
· $5,000 from the Iowa Area Development Group.
iJAG will use the money to help grow opportunities for 200 additional underserved youth to prepare them for fulfilling careers. The schools where iJAG will expand are Boone High School, Iowa City West High School, North Scott High School in Eldridge and George Washington Carver Academy in Waterloo.
“In today’s knowledge economy, graduating from high school and being prepared to go to college or build a career is the new minimum for success,” Gov. Reynolds said. “Better preparing all students is also critical to achieve the Future Ready Iowa goal of 70 percent of our workforce having education or training beyond high school by 2025. An essential step to help make that happen is increasing school-business partnerships.”
“Helping students develop the skills they need to succeed in 21st century careers is a critical step to building the diverse workforce we need to power our company—and our country—for the future,” AT&T Iowa Director of External Affairs Dustin Blythe said. “iJAG has a track record of success, and this funding will allow them to provide even more students with the opportunity to thrive.”
“Expanding work-based learning that engages students in real-world projects is an important way to help them launch careers, build confidence and make connections in their communities,” Lt. Gov. Gregg said. “Iowa is fortunate to have great models of how work-based learning can be done.”
“We are so excited to celebrate the partnership between iJAG and AT&T,” Boone High School Principal Kris Byam said. “The Boone EDGE was created as an all-inclusive work-based learning program to help all of our students prepare for postsecondary excellence. Our K-12 continuum of support allows for students to get the necessary skills to complete in a global market.”
iJAG currently serves 2,800 students in 49 programs across the state. Gov. Reynolds recently joined the Jobs for America’s Graduates national board of directors.