JAG Program provides soft job skills training

Julie Davis
Nebraska City News-Press

Some students receive training in soft job skills, such as conflict resolution and nonverbal communication, from at-home discussions with their parents. For those whose parents haven’t provided such skills, the JAG program at Nebraska City High School may be able to help.

JAG stands for Jobs for America’s Graduates, and it is a three-year pilot program from the Nebraska Department of Education that is entering its final year during the 2021-2022 school year.

NCHS Principal Brian Hoover outlined the program for the members of the Nebraska City Rotary Club during the group’s July 14 meeting.

Hoover said the JAG program focuses on values such as integrity, perseverance, and teamwork to help students succeed in the work world after high school. 

The program, which was taught last year by Nick Wolff, uses real-world examples and team-based role-playing to develop the students’ soft job skills. Hoover said Wolff has been promoted and will be replaced by another JAG specialist, who is not an employee of Nebraska City Public Schools, but the state Department of Education.

Last year, 52 NCHS students were part of the program, and Hoover said school staff saw these students improve their school attendance, their ability to be on-track to graduate, and their grade point averages by participating in the JAG program.

In the upcoming school year, 16 districts across Nebraska will be part of the JAG program, said Hoover, with most of the schools being in metropolitan areas.

Hoover said he believes the program is a successful one, and he would like to see it continue at Nebraska City High School if funding could be found to pay for it.

“It’s something I’m very passionate about,” he said, “because it focuses on what you’ll be, not what you do” after high school.

The Nebraska City Rotary Club meets at noon Wednesdays at Valentino’s, 1710 S. 11th St.

Upcoming programs include a presentation on the Nebraska Department of Education’s proposed health education standards by Matt Innis on July 28 and a presentation on the Nebraska Public Service Commission by Dan Watermeier on Aug. 4

Cole Sharp is the club president. Call (402) 873-0530 for more information.

Nebraska City High School Principal Brian Hoover outlined the Jobs for America’s Graduates program for the Nebraska City Rotary Club during the July 14 meeting at Valentino’s.