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

Governor Steve Bullock today announced that Jobs for Montana’s Graduates received its fourteenth “5-of-5” award, showing the state program continues to provide superior services to Montana students who face barriers to graduation.

“I’m pleased Jobs for Montana’s Graduates is being recognized yet again for the work they do to ensure Montana students have the support they need to overcome challenges and graduate,” Governor Bullock said. “This program is equipping students with the skills and knowledge they need to pursue further education or begin a career.

JMG, administered by the Montana Department of Labor & Industry, is a state chapter of Jobs for America’s Graduates, a national organization dedicated to improving outcomes among students with serious hurdles to graduating or employment. The “5-of-5” award is the highest recognition, honoring states who achieve or surpass a 90 percent graduation rate, 80 percent positive outcomes rate, 60 percent employment rate, 60 percent full-time jobs rate, and an 80 percent full-time placement rate. State results are compiled after 12 months of follow-up college placement and career pathway support for each graduating class.

“We are thrilled that JMG has again earned this prestigious award. JMG Specialists work with students facing various challenges, and the results of the program have been inspiring across Montana,” said JMG Director Erica Swanson. “We’ll continue supporting our students during the pandemic and helping them develop the skillsets to secure employment and/or continue to post-secondary education.”

The JMG class of 2019 exceeded all “5-of-5” goals. Those results included:

  • A 98.8% graduation rate.
  • An employment rate of 81%.
  • A full-time engagement rate of 96%. Full-time engagement is considered working, enrolled in higher education, in the military, or some combination of the previous, on a full-time basis of at least 40 hours per week. 

“We recognize and appreciate Governor Bullock’s leadership and efforts to sustain and grow the JMG program across Montana,” said Ken Smith, President of Jobs for America’s Graduates. “The success of JMG is in large part due to the strong support of the program from the Governor and Department of Labor & Industry.”  

Montana schools that reached the “5-of-5” award standards for 2019 were: Arlee High School, Butte High School, Culbertson High School, Dodson High School, Dutton-Brady High School, Frenchtown High School, Glasgow High School, Hot Springs High School, Lincoln High School, North Star High School, Paris Gibson Education Center, Plains High School, Scobey High School, Shelby High School, Thompson Falls High School, and Whitehall High School.  

About Jobs for Montana’s Graduates

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. The program started as a JAG chapter 30 years ago to serve middle and high school students.  

JMG encourages Montana students to stay in school, graduate, and successfully transition from school to the workforce, college, apprenticeships, or military service. The program has positively affected over 20,000 students across Montana and currently serves approximately 1,100 youth across 50 educational facilities.

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