2016 State Career Development Conference

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Region 2 Students Recognized at JAG State Final Event


I-4transNDIANAPOLIS (March 11, 2016) blueDash - 30 StuJAG specialists and students at lunch during the state Career Development Conference in Indianapolis.dents from around the state gathered today at Ivy Tech Com- munity College in downtown Indianapolis to take part in Indiana’s annual Jobs for America’s Graduates (JAG) State Career Development Conference (CDC).

All participants previously took part in regional con-ferences for a chance to earn monetary awards and the opportunity to compete at the state level. The confer- ence enabled students to demonstrate their employ- ability skills in nine categories:

● Career Presentation;
● Employability Skills;
● Creative Solutions;
● Writing Skills;
● Critical Thinking; 
● Financial Literacy;
● Public Speaking; 
● Entrepreneurship; and
● Cover Design.

Two JAG student Yatziri Cortez-Rangel and DWD Commissioner Steven Braun, March 11, 2016.JAG students from WorkOne Region 2's area of responsibility were among the top scorers in competitions judged by professionals.  Local winners include:

● Yatziri Cortez-Rangel, Goshen High School,
Employability Skills, 3rd Place; and
Nathan Shook, Mishawaka High School,
Public Speaking, 3rd Place.

“The abundance of high-quality competitors at the Career Development Confer- ence is a testament to Indiana’s status as the largest JAG program in the nation,” said Steven J. Braun, Commissioner, Indiana Department of Workforce Develop- ment. “Events like this showcase how JAG Indiana is accomplishing its mission of graduating students on time and preparing them to take the next step in life.”

DWD official Steven Braun and Nathan Shook, JAG student from Mishawaka High School.JAG is a state-based, national non-profit effort dedicated to develop- ing students academically by help- ing them overcome measurable barriers to graduation. Since 2006, Indiana’s JAG program has helped more than 15,000 Hoosier students stay in school through graduation, pursue post-secondary education and secure quality jobs leading to career advancement.

Currently, more than 5,500 students participate in JAG through 104 pro-grams located in over 96 schools throughout Indiana, making Indiana’s JAG program the largest in the nation. Students are taught competencies, such as critical thinking, team leadership and effective communication skills that will increase their marketability in today’s workforce.

JAG students receive adult mentoring while in school and one year of follow-up counseling after graduation. Indiana’s program graduates more than 93 percent of participants and many students choose to continue their education after high school. The JAG program is funded through community partners and grants provided by the Indiana Department of Workforce Development.


At the program's core, WorkOne’s Jobs for America’s Graduates (JAG) program focuses on helping youth facing measur- able barriers to success strengthen not only their day-to-day decision-making but also life-skills and employability suf- ficient to enter, compete and succeed in a workforce or post-secondary education. To reach this skill-level, each par- ticipant invests thought, energy, discipline and Half of the team representing JAG from WorkOne Northern Indiana (Region 2).curiosity in JAG’s curriculum as well as participating in community service and other activities, including job shadowing, internships, college visits and the Region 2 JAG Career Development Conference (CDC).
Fundamentally, CDC’s purpose is to enable youth to achieve higher confidence and skills growth by showcasing their abilities — thus strengthening communication and other skills developed via JAG’s process of thoughtful engagement and mentoring by professional specialists. Furthermore, the CDC is structured to challenge youth by simulating pressures and rewards of workplace situations.

Professionals inherently can have remarkably strong influences on local youth — and, as reported by students themselves, they indeed do feel numerous positive effects emanating from professionals during CDC competitions.  These heart-warming impacts occur when profes- sionals engage youth by judging events, thereby providing exciting “real world” experiences for young people. 

WorkOne Northern Indiana officials have been thrilled by both rapid and substantial skills growth youth typically absorb during simulated workplace tasks.  During WorkOne’s career conferences, teens have shown noteworthy forward progress during preparations as well as participation in competitive events.

Second half of the team representing WorkOne Region 2 in north-central Indiana.Invariably, the purpose of the CDC is to enables participants to develop confidence and showcase the skills and abilities that they have learned through the JAG process.  Furthermore, the CDC is structured to challenge youth by taking them outside their adolescent comfort zones and simulating experiences of workplace situations.

WorkOne has found that a key ingredient in fostering learning by Northern Indiana youth is to have professionals serve as competition judges, thereby providing expertise to this simulated environment. In this light, WorkOne officials have been thrilled with the potential for making young people making dramatic leaps forward based on their CDC preparation and participation.

In each career-development categories, student competed under published scoring protocols, and they will be judged by professionals from Northern Indiana economic sectors including banking, insurance, education, government, health care, economic development, human resources and social services. top-right-4