Governor Paul R. LePage and Acting Education Commissioner Tom Desjardin were on hand Tuesday as Jobs for Maine’s Graduates (JMG) accepted a $200,000 grant from the AT&T Foundation to expand into Cony High School in Augusta.
Over the past two decades, JMG has helped to inspire and prepare more than 25,000 students to graduate from high school with the skills, support and confidence to succeed in the workplace.
“Thanks to the people at AT&T for making one of the most important investments an employer can make – an investment in our students,” said Governor LePage at the State House announcement. “Our students are leaders in the making; they are tomorrow’s workforce, our future entrepreneurs and CEOs. JMG and AT&T represent a true public-private partnership that is directly addressing Maine’s workforce and job skills crisis.”
The $200,000 grant is only the most recent gift from AT&T. Since 2008, the company has awarded JMG more than $500,000, helping the organization double the number of students it serves every year, from 2,500 in 2008 to more than 5,000 today. In addition to the increased support from AT&T, the LePage Administration has continually provided more State funding for the proven program, and proposed in its biennial budget more than $1 million additionally for JMG, bringing the total funding over the two years to nearly $7.4 million.
JMG’s application to expand to Cony was one of 30 selected from 1,100 entries nationwide.
The grant is part of AT&T Aspire, the company’s signature education initiative, focused on school success and career readiness and will support a new program at Cony High School for the next two years that will serve dozens of students each year. Students enrolled in the JMG program at Cony will be exposed to career, training and education opportunities. Through an engaging, interactive curriculum they will develop and hone the types of workplace skills, such as communication and critical thinking, that are in demand in today’s job market.
“Jobs for Maine’s Graduates is one of the country’s leaders in supporting student achievement and success beyond the classroom,” said Patricia Jacobs, president of AT&T New England. “AT&T is committed to doing everything we can to help students graduate high school with the skills they need to compete and thrive in the 21st century economy. We’re proud to support JMG and their proven success in helping students gain the knowledge and skills they’ll need to be successful.”
In selecting the recipients for this grant, AT&T chose organizations that can demonstrate their success through data. For example, 96 percent of JMG students stay in school from one year to the next, and at least 90 percent graduate within four years.
For more information, visit www.jmg.org.