Jobs for Mississippi Graduates (JMG), an impressive college and career readiness class, is being offered at New Albany High School (NAHS) for the second year.  This year the instructor and Jobs Specialist is Hope Bradley.  Bradley received state level training this past summer and will attend the Jobs for America’s Graduates National Conference during the summer of 2020.

This class is offered as a fifty minute, split-block class to students in grades 9-12.  There are 33 students participating in the class that is offered three times during the school day.

Students learn about employability skills through the competencies that are taught in the classroom.  These competencies include building skills in the following areas:  basic communication; leadership/self-development; personal/life survival; workplace; career development; job attainment; and job survival.

So far this semester, students in the Jobs class have been working on soft skills.  Activities and lessons have incorporated creating a resume, team building skills, character development, and budgeting.  They have also been practicing interview skills and meet and greet skills.

Bradley incorporates group projects, guest speakers, field trips, special events, and college visits into the program to provide real-life experiences and make the learning more meaningful.

As the first nine-week grading period comes to an end, students will complete vision boards detailing who they are; where they are now; and goals they have for college and/or career.

The program allows for leadership within the classes.  A president, vice-president, secretary, reporter, and parliamentarian will soon be elected.  An Induction & Installation Ceremony will be held in November for the officers and all of the students participating in the JMG program.

The program includes an advisory board which helps to promote and support the students with any interests or needs they may have.  This advisory board is comprised of community leaders, educators, parents and NAHS administration. Board members for the 2019-2020 school year include:  Barbara Cox, LeeAnn Thompson, Mary Margaret King, Beverly Rutherford, Judith Ward, Celia House, Kay Darling, Derek Bradley, John Ferrell, Kalee Stanton, and Cynthia Parks.

“A very important component to the JMG program is the fact that we follow students after graduation and continue to be a source of support to them,” Bradley explained.  Jobs Specialists are committed to students for twelve months after graduation to help them secure jobs, identify career pathways, or move on to post-secondary education.

“One of the main goals of our five-year district strategic plan is to prepare all students to be college and career ready,” said John Ferrell, NAHS principal. “The JMG program allows students to gain valuable employability skills that are needed in business and industry.”