Jobs for America’s Graduates National Leadership Award

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:


January 21, 2016

CONTACTS:
Erica Swanson, Program Director, Jobs for Montana’s Graduates, DLI, 444.0978
Jake Troyer, Communications Director, DLI, 444.1674

Pam Watson Honored with Jobs for America’s Graduates National Leadership Award
Montana Department of Labor & Industry Bureau Chief Recognized for Workforce Development

Helena, MT-The Montana Department of Labor & Industry (DLI) is excited to announce that Statewide Workforce Programs and Oversight Bureau Chief, Pam Watson has been named as a recipient of the Jobs for America’s Graduates (JAG) 2015 National Workforce Leadership Award.

The National Leadership Awards recognize local and state leaders who have demonstrated a high level of commitment and involvement in the support of JAG and the student leaders JAG serves.  Recipients not only support the work of JAG in their day to day careers, but have been exemplary advocates for the JAG program and JAG students in their community, working to build partnerships and financial resources to engage more students that can benefit from the program.

As Workforce Programs and Oversight Bureau Chief, Watson oversees Jobs for Montana’s Graduates (JMG), the state affiliate of JAG. The program teaches soft skills for middle and high school students and promotes graduation. JMG works with high school students to successfully transition after graduation into employment, post-secondary education, apprenticeship, or military.

“Being nominated for this award is a great honor, let alone to be selected,” said Watson. “Listening to leaders from across the country was incredibly humbling and I was very proud to represent not only JMG, but also the students and teachers who make this such a wonderful program for Montana.”

Before holding her current position as Workforce Programs and Oversight Bureau Chief for the Montana Department of Labor & Industry, Pam served as the Director of the Governor’s State Workforce Investment Board (SWIB) and coordinated grant applications that have awarded the state millions of workforce development dollars.

“Pam has been recognized for her leadership talents throughout her career and every day brings those skills to lead Jobs for Montana’s Graduates, so they can continue to provide students the knowledge they need to succeed after graduation,” said Labor & Industry Commissioner, Pam Bucy. “I can’t think of a more deserving recipient of this award and look forward to watching Jobs for Montana’s Graduates continue to thrive.”

“As JAG continues to grow across our 32 State Affiliates and beyond, we are fortunate to have an ever growing number of especially dedicated state and local leaders that support our mission to serve underrepresented youth so they may be equipped with the skills necessary to be successful in high school, the workplace, and after,” said President and Co-Founder of JAG, Ken Smith.

Jobs for America’s Graduates (JAG) is a non-profit organization celebrating its 35th anniversary with a proven track record of helping young people graduate from high school and make successful transitions to postsecondary education or meaningful employment.  JAG has served over 1 million youth. It is currently assisting approximately 50,000 young people in over 1,000 community high schools, middle schools, community colleges, and other learning locations in 32 states to achieve academic, career and life success. Some 90% of the youth in the JAG National Network have successfully graduated and over 80% are working, in college, or both a year after graduation.

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