The COVID-19 pandemic has affected nearly every aspect of life in 2020. While the challenges of the global health pandemic are widespread, people in underserved and economically disadvantaged communities have been especially impacted.
For 40 years the non-profit Jobs for America’s Graduates (JAG) has helped young people historically held back by discrimination, poverty, and other barriers to succeed in school and on-the-job. By partnering with schools, state governments and businesses, JAG delivers comprehensive services designed to keep young people in school through graduation and improve their success rates in education and career.
Due to COVID-19, JAG quickly adopted its programs to deliver academic and job training support in a virtual format. Regions Bank and The Regions Foundation provided both in-kind support and funding for technology resources that allowed JAG to transition to a virtual model and provide continued support to students. And the results exceeded expectations.
Despite continued social and economic uncertainties due to the COVID-19 pandemic, JAG students achieved an impressive graduation rate of 96% in 2020, exceeding the national average for all seniors by 12%.
“At Regions we know that we are only as successful as the communities we serve and we want to ensure that every student has the education and skills needed to achieve in the classroom and in the job market,” said Leslie Carter-Prall, head of Private Wealth Management for Regions and a member of the JAG Board of Directors. “JAG has a long and successful track record of achieving that objective and in 2020 JAG was able to shift program delivery very quickly to continue meeting needs of students, particularity some of the most vulnerable, during the pandemic.”
In 2019, the Regions Foundation committed $200,000 to JAG and state affiliates to help connect students with training and well-paying careers. In 2020, Regions Bank followed up with an additional $30,000 in COVID-specific funding to help cover the costs of computer-based training amid the ongoing pandemic.
In December 2020 the national Board of Directors of Jobs for America’s Graduates (JAG) recognized Regions with the Partners in the Pandemic Award.
“On behalf of our entire national Board of Directors of Jobs for America’s Graduates, it is my great pleasure to honor Regions with JAG’s Partner in the Pandemic Award because of the extraordinary leadership and support you have contributed to America’s most successful program for helping youth and young adults who face significant academic, environmental, economic, and social challenges,” said Kenneth M. Smith, President, Jobs for America’s Graduates. “We are sincerely grateful for the difference you have made in the lives of so many young people of such great promise, especially in the depths of the pandemic.”
The JAG Board of Directors is made up of leading Governors, C-Suite Executives of the Fortune 500, and National Community Leaders. JAG State Affiliates deliver the data driven, high-impact JAG Model program across 1400 middle schools, high schools, and other locations in their states.
Read more about how Regions and JAG are working together to make a positive difference.