A state workforce preparation program that began in 12 schools in 2006 is looking to add 250 more programs throughout the state, beginning with the new academic year. JAG Indiana lets students earn high school credit while receiving career preparation and life skills training.

The Indiana Department of Workforce Development says, since JAG Indiana launched, more than 20,000 students have taken part. The state says 95 percent of those students have graduated from high school. The goal, the state says, is to cut Indiana’s rate of 8,000 to 10,000 high school students dropping out each year, with about 40 percent of them never entering the workforce.

The national JAG program launched in 1980. JAG Indiana has grown to be the largest affiliate in the national network, with 135 programs statewide. The department says Indiana’s program has topped JAG’s national goals in graduation rate and job placement.

During his latest State of the State address, Governor Eric Holcomb outlined his goal to ultimately add a total of 250 more programs. He began serving a term as chair of JAG’s national board of directors on January 1.

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