Governor Bullock Announces Jobs for Montana’s Graduates Receives 4th Consecutive National Performance Award

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MONTANA – Governor Steve Bullock today announced Jobs for Montana’s Graduates (JMG) received its 4th consecutive “5-of-5 Award” as the program continues to exceed goals in serving Montana students who face barriers to graduation.

“With record high graduation rates in our state, we continue putting an emphasis on ensuring that Montana students are equipped with the skills and knowledge to be ready to succeed,” said Governor Bullock. “I’m grateful for the good work of Jobs for Montana’s Graduates in shaping a future where every student knows not only the importance of graduating from high school and pursuing a meaningful career, but that it is certainly within reach.”

The award honors states who achieve or surpass a 90% graduation rate, 80% positive outcomes rate, 60% employment rate, 60% full-time jobs rate, and an 80% full-time placement rate. State results are compiled after 12 months of follow-up college placement and career pathway support for each graduating class.

The JMG class of 2018 exceeded all “5-of-5” goals. Those results included:

  • A 98.6% graduation rate, an increase of 3% over the prior year, exceeding the national standard of 90%.
  • An employment rate of 72%, over ten percent higher than the national standard.
  • A full-time engagement rate of 87%, higher than the national standard of 80%. Full-time engagement is considered working, enrolled in higher education, in the military, or some combination of all, on a full-time basis of at least 40 hours per week. 

“Receiving this award for the fourth-consecutive year is a tribute to the excellent work teachers are doing out in their communities,” Erica Swanson, state director of JMG, said. “Students are benefitting from the exceptional education experiences they are receiving and are recognizing the benefits of gaining the professional skills they need to join Montana’s workforce.”

Montana schools that were recognized for reaching the “5-of-5 Award” standards for 2018 were Billings Career Center, Bridger High School, Butte High School, Cascade High School, Culbertson High School, Dodson High School, Dutton/Brady High School, Frenchtown High School, Glasgow High School, Nashua High School, Paris Gibson Education Center in Great Falls, Scobey High School, Shelby High School, Thompson Falls High School, and Whitehall High School.

This is the 13th year JMG has received the national performance award for serving Montana students who face obstacles to graduation or employment.

JMG, administered by the Montana Department of Labor & Industry (DLI), is a state chapter of Job’s for America’s Graduates (JAG), a national organization dedicated to improving outcomes among students who have serious hurdles to graduation and/or employment. The program started as a JAG chapter 29 years ago to serve middle and high school students across Montana. JMG continues to provide outstanding results for youth who participate in the program across the state. 

Jobs for Montana’s Graduates provides students an opportunity to practice decision making, critical thinking, and leadership skills, while learning the essential soft skills needed for career readiness to gain employment in Montana’s workforce. JMG encourages Montana students to stay in school, graduate and successfully transition from school to the workforce, college, apprenticeships, or military service. The program is funded by DLI to support students in connecting with their communities by providing leadership development, social and civic engagement, and career awareness to over 20,000 students.

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