S.C.’s High School Workforce Readiness Program Surpasses National Benchmarks
COLUMBIA—Almost all high school seniors enrolled in the state’s Jobs for America’s Graduates (JAG-SC) program received a diploma this year.
The program achieved a high school graduation rate of 95 percent, which is five percent higher than the
national standard. This marks the third consecutive year the rate has been at 93 percent or higher.
At 97.5 percent, JAG-SC’s 2012 extended graduation rate, which is measured after a one-year follow-up
period, is the highest in the program’s history.
Coordinated by the SC Department of Employment and Workforce (DEW), JAG-SC is a high school
dropout prevention program focused on academic success and career readiness skills. Currently in its
eighth year, it has served more than 5,500 students who face several documented barriers to success.
“JAG-SC is truly making a difference in our young people’s lives as it gives them the boost to succeed in
high school and prepares them for the next step in life,” said Kerry Paul, interim assistant executive
director of Employment Services at DEW. “Not only does JAG benefit students across our state, but it
also helps supply a job-ready workforce to our businesses.”
With the help of a dedicated career specialist at each school, JAG students work on skills identified by
businesses as essential to successful employment. The S.C. program has been consistently recognized at
the national level for its success in equipping young people for life beyond high school.
JAG-SC graduates of the class of 2012 exceeded all of the national standards. Ninety-one percent of last
year’s graduates attended college, enlisted in the military or accepted full or part-time job positions, an
outcome that is well above the organization’s national standard of 80 percent. Also, 80 percent of the
employed 2012 graduates received full-time jobs, a rate well above the national standard of 60 percent.
In addition to the statewide program exceeding national standards, nine schools achieved an individual
“five of five” designation, meaning they met or exceeded all the standards. They are:
- Creek Bridge High in Marion
- Darlington High
- Mullins High
- Manning High
- Rock Hill High
- South Florence High
- West Florence High
- Wilson High in Florence
- Woodmont High in Piedmont
To learn more about JAG-SC, visit DEW’s JAG page