Jobs for American Graduates-Missouri will now be part of the Eldon School District.
Approved during the Dec. 17 board meeting, the program is set to begin in the 2019-20 school year with a goal of having students connected and employed with Aident and Quaker Windows and Doors.
"Aident and Quaker have committed to employ over 700 people in the next five years in the Eldon area," Superintendent Matt Davis said. "We will engage these two businesses to provide students with paid internships and apprenticeship programs."
Quaker is currently building a $65 million facility in Eldon; it's expected to open next fall.
Using curriculum from JAG, the multi-year pre-apprenticeship program will recruit students, offer aid through high school, and support services for one year following graduation.
"The pre-apprenticeship program is really for the kids who are more at-risk," Davis said. "We know we have at-risk kids in our area. It's not just about graduating the kids from high school, but it's about making sure they can be gainfully employed."
A pre-apprenticeship coordinator position is needed to teach the program. The 12-month position beginning July 1, 2019, is listed with a salary of $55,000.
Eldon recently implemented the Missouri Registered Apprenticeship Program (MORAP) as part of a partnership with the U.S. Department of Labor, the Department of Workforce Development and the Department of Education to create a more skilled work force.
The district received a $90,000 grant for the program.
Cynthia Walker, MORAP grant coordinator, said seven Eldon students are currently in the high school program with the Eldon Career Center. She described the growth as exponential since the original goal was four apprentices in Eldon.
The district is hoping for more positive results with JAG. Eldon Career Center Director Kelli Engelbrecht said, "It is the perfect time to grow the workforce."
"We are like expectant children anticipating Santa as we wait to launch the program," she said. "JAG has proven successful in helping students remain in high school, attain employable skills through classroom and work-based learning experiences during high school, graduate and receive 12 months of follow-up employability of post secondary transitions services by the JAG specialist."
According to the JAG Missouri website, 29 schools are currently using the program. Their 2018 outcomes reported a 92 percent job placement rate.