LITTLE ROCK – Entergy Arkansas has provided Jobs for Arkansas Graduates, which is the state affiliate of the national organization Jobs for America’s Graduates (JAG), with $50,000 to start new programs at Crossett High School and Watson Chapel High School and $25,000 to pay for student conferences and student travel to state and national competitions.
Tom Kennedy, Entergy Arkansas’ Vice President of Public Affairs, recognized the partnership with the schools at an event at the Arkansas State Capitol.
“Entergy has long been involved in economic development in this state, and it is our belief a rising tide raises all ships. For us to recruit the jobs that we need in this state, we need to have an educated workforce. We’re proud to be a part of that,” Kennedy said.
JAG is an organization that is dedicated to preventing dropouts among high school students deemed at-risk or disadvantaged. Since 2007, Arkansas’ JAG program has been recognized with the “5-of-5 National Performance Award,” achieving high marks for exceeding performance outcomes in the following five key areas: graduation rate, positive outcomes rate, aggregate employment rate, full-time jobs rate, and full-time placement rate.
Crossett Public Schools Superintendent Gary Williams said this funding will help his district prepare students for meaningful careers.
“We have a need for our students to work with employers and to still have that support from the school. As they get into the workforce, students will have an opportunity to make some of those mistakes that could cost them later. They will be developing necessary skills that will transfer to a successful life as an adult,” Kennedy said.
JAG is offered in 110 schools with 113 programs across Arkansas and is a special program of Career and Technical Education, one of four divisions of the Arkansas Department of Career Education.
“We are thankful for Entergy Arkansas and all of our funding partners for helping us to prepare our students for careers,” said Charisse Childers, Ph.D., Director of the Arkansas Department of Career Education.
The JAG programs at Watson Chapel and Crossett will begin this fall.
(Standing left to right are the following: Charisse Childers, Ph.D., Director of the Arkansas Department of Career Education; Tom Kennedy, Entergy Arkansas’ Vice President of Public Affairs; Carl Whimper, College and Career Coach, Watson Chapel School District; Kerri Williams, Ed.S., School Improvement Specialist, Watson Chapel School District; Kenneth Smith, JAG President and CEO; and Sonja Wright-McMurray, Associate Director for CTE Special Projects for the Arkansas Department of Career Education.)