Local JAG students brave the cold to compete in Regional Career Development Conference
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Despite the frigid temperatures, close to 70 Northwest Indiana high school students attended the Jobs for America’s Graduates (JAG) Career Development Conference (CDC) on Friday, January 25, 2019 at Indiana University Northwest. JAG is a national initiative dedicated to preventing dropouts among young people who have serious barriers to graduation and/or employment and are considered most at-risk. The Northwest Indiana Workforce Board was instrumental in bringing JAG to Northwest Indiana as part of their youth strategy and the program has had a presence in Northwest Indiana since 2006. Over 1,800 youth have participated in the program and transitioned to post-secondary education and training, military, or employment.
The CDC is one way to prepare JAG students for the future by allowing them to compete in events to showcase employment related skills. “The Career Development Conference is a great opportunity for the JAG students from all the programs throughout Northwest Indiana to come together to apply the skills that they have been learning in the JAG classroom. The JAG students are able to demonstrate employability skills, oral and written communication skills, financial literacy, critical thinking, and presentation skills,” said Tammy Stump, Senior Workforce Associate with Center of Workforce Innovations. “For some, this is also an opportunity for them to network with students from other programs as well as the judges who are made up of local employers and community leaders that support the JAG Program,” added Stump.
For the first half of the CDC, students went to assigned classrooms to compete in their event category. Event categories included Career Presentation, Creative Solutions, Critical Thinking, Employability Skills, Financial Literacy, Public Speaking, Writing Skills, and Entrepreneurship Plan.
Meanwhile, back in the auditorium, a few of the event categories known as Chapter Competitions, required the students to work together as a team to represent their school’s JAG program using their creative and technical skills. Each program competing in chapter competitions were to have a finished product to present to judges on the day of the event—producing a JAG Chapter Commercial, Chapter Marketing Brochure, or Chapter Service Learning Blog/Video Diary. Following Chapter Competitions, students competing in Public Speaking gave their speeches one by one on “Why being in JAG gives me an advantage.”
Included in the conference were event categories that took place before the CDC. One event category involved students creating and submitting a cover design. First place was displayed as the cover design for the Regional JAG CDC Program, and later submitted to the state for a chance at being the cover design for the State CDC Program. The other competition included a pre-event interview and judging that was done for the Outstanding Senior category. This award recognizes a senior, who through the JAG program demonstrates active leadership, academic achievement, community service involvement, and future college and career goals.
As competitions came to a close early that afternoon, students set off to lunch anxiously awaiting the final results. Following lunch, students met back in the auditorium for an exciting game of JAG Jeopardy that tested their knowledge on college preparation and process. After the game, first, second, and third place event awards were presented by Northwest Indiana Workforce Board Member and Youth Employment Council Chair, Kristine Lukowski, and State Representative, Indiana House, Dr. Vernon Smith to conclude the conference.
Sponsors of the CDC were Indiana University Northwest, Ivy Tech Community College, and Center of Workforce Innovations.
This year’s first and second place winners for individual events and first place winners for Chapter Competitions, Outstanding Senior, Entrepreneurship/Business Plan, and Cover Design will be heading to state for the JAG State Competition in Indianapolis. These students/schools include:
1st-Chloe Coleman, Theodore Roosevelt College & Career Academy
2nd-Hayleigh Stoner, Knox Community High School
1st-Jyra Vincent, Knox Community High School
2nd-Michael Prodanic, Hammond George Rogers Clark Middle/High School
1st-Tommie Brown, Theodore Roosevelt College & Career Academy
2nd-Jared Prater, Knox Community High School
1st-James Dilworth, Calumet New Tech High School
2nd–Jocelyn Haynes, West Side Leadership Academy
1st-Shamiya Jones, Merrillville High School
2nd– Eian Coad, Knox Community High School
1st-Marlin Walker, River Forest High School
2nd– Jasmyn Hardy, West Side Leadership Academy
1st-Jane Trosper, Knox Community High School
2nd-Chloe Meredith, West Side Leadership Academy
Chapter Marketing Brochure
1st-North Judson-San Pierre Jr./Sr. High School
Chapter Service Learning Blog/Video Diary
1st-North Judson-San Pierre Jr./Sr. High School
1st-Theodore Roosevelt College & Career Academy
1st-Knox Community High School
1st-Jacob Krueger, Knox High Community School
1st–Caitlin Clemons, Knox Community High School
For further information about the Northwest Indiana JAG Program, contact Tamara Stump at 219-462-2940, ext. 32 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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- All WorkOne Northwest Indiana offices will be closed Wednesday, January 30, 2019 due to inclement weather.
- The Career Fair with Camaco Portage set for Wednesday, January 30, 2019 has been CANCELED due to the anticipated inclement weather. This event will be rescheduled. The rescheduled date will be announced at a later time.
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- All WorkOne offices are closed Monday, January 21, 2019.