Gov. Roy Cooper to visit Henderson County for Jumpstart Jobs Week

Press release from Communities in the Schools of North Carolina: 

Governor Roy Cooper is joining Communities In Schools of North Carolina at the Henderson County Innovative High School on Monday, Jan. 27 to kickoff Jumpstart Jobs Week – a community-wide event to connect local employers with high school students in the Jobs for North Carolina’s Graduates (JNCG) program. Monday’s kickoff event will be followed by the launch of a new JNCG program at The Davidson River School in Transylvania County on Tuesday morning at 8:15 a.m.

“The Jobs for North Carolina’s Graduates program has already succeeded in helping students graduate from high school – ready to succeed and build a bright future,” Governor Cooper said. “As this program enters its second phase, it is more important than ever that we engage employers and workforce development partners so that we can meet the needs of businesses while connecting students with training and careers.”

Communities In Schools’ JNCG Program is in its third year of operation and focuses on transitioning high school juniors and seniors from high school into employment, post-secondary education, or enlistment. Cooper will announce award of an $825,000 grant from his NC Job Ready workforce development initiative administered by the Department of Commerce to support programing in seven high schools across the state on Monday.

A student-centered program, JNCG is focused on employability and workplace skills that employers have identified as essential for today’s careers. Each student in the program works to master crucial workplace competencies such as communications, teamwork, leadership, critical thinking, and problem solving with the goal of staying in school through graduation, pursuing post-secondary education/training, and securing quality, entry-level jobs leading to career advancement opportunities.

In each participating high school, the JNCG college and career coach, in conjunction with school leaders, identifies students who are at risk of not completing high school or successfully transitioning into training or the labor market because of academic, economic, family and/or personal barriers. The coach works with 35-45 students to enable them to gain essential workplace competencies that comprise the National High School Employability Curriculum developed by the Jobs for America’s Graduates national network.

Coaches, who are trained to prepare students to achieve academic, career and life success, will continue to serve in the following schools:

●  Concord High School (Cabarrus County Schools);
●  Henderson County Career Academy (Henderson County Schools);
●  Northwest Halifax Collegiate and Technical Academy (Halifax County Schools);
●  Purnell Swett High School (Robeson County Schools);
●  Wallace-Rose Hill High School (Duplin County Schools);
●  Walter M. Williams High School (Alamance-Burlington School System); and
●  Wilkes Central High School (Wilkes County Schools).

“Jumpstart Jobs week is a great way to connect businesses with their future workforce in high schools across North Carolina”, said Pam Hartley, President and CEO for Communities In Schools of North Carolina. “Our students are learning critical skills to close North Carolina’s growing jobs gap. We are particularly thrilled to work with AT&T and Transylvania County Schools to launch a new JNCG program at Davidson River School. Together, we’re helping students stay in school, graduate, and take their first steps toward further education and North Carolina jobs.”

Since 2017, one cohort of students has completed the full JNCG program (consisting of one year in school and one year of follow-up), and a second cohort has completed the in-school portion of the program. The two cohorts have a 98% high school graduation rate. JNCG staff continue to provide support to the students after graduation to help them enter into full-time post-secondary education, employment leading to careers, or a combination of the two.

The program also works directly with employers to expose students to careers in their community and across the state. JNCG staff have developed partnerships with companies such as Honeywell, GE Aviation, Harris Teeter, Duke Energy, and many local businesses who are investing their resources, talent and knowledge to provide experiences for students in the classroom and on-the-job. Activities include career awareness, career exploration and real-world career experience, such as internship opportunities. Coaches also have been partnering with local workforce development boards and community colleges to connect students with available resources. Continuing to strengthen such partnerships will be a focus of the program during the 2019-2020 and 2020-2021 school years.

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