The Jerry’s In: JTG is Lucky to have Him

Jordan had Pippen.  Simon had Garfunkel.  Michael Jackson had his brothers (Okay, maybe not the best example).  Every successful person has someone beside them.  Dwyer has Jones.  To be clear, I’m not suggesting for one moment that I’m Jordan.  Hardly.  But I do have a guy that will forget more about Jobs for Tennessee Graduates (JTG) than I’ll ever know.  JTG Vice

Silver Holmes presented with a $250 check from Jerry Jones for passing the HiSET exam. Way to go Silver!

President/Direction of Operations Jerry Jones.  Jones was a longtime JTG specalist at Fairview High School, then a program manager when JTG was run by the state.  In its transition to a non-profit the last three years, Jones has stayed on board.  Frankly, there wouldn’t be a JTG without Jerry.  You know how your business has a “numbers guy” and can navigate through piles of reports and applications?

Jerry congratulating John Travierso for passing the HiSET. Yes, John is $250 richer!

Jerry is that guy.  He knows where all the bones are buried, so to speak.  The moment I met him in late 2013 it was clear I needed him if we were going to have a shot of continuing in schools that recognized the impact of JTG on their students and were willing to hang with it.  To all those JTG students served since then who are now in college, on a career path and/or serving our country, you have Jerry (among others) to thank.

Among his responsibilities, executing Out-Of-School grants awarded to JTG by Workforce Essentials.  Workforce Essentials is a successful regional non-profit that essential helps connect people to careers.  An Out-Of-School (OOS) program is one that focuses on young people who didn’t complete high school.  Jerry helps coach them to pass the HiSET exam (Tennessee’s version of a GED) and become employable.  In a perfect world, all at-risk students would be part of the JTG In-School program (12th grade with a 12-month follow up) but we all know the world isn’t perfect.

When I worked at News-2 in sports, I always tried to surround myself with people better than me because it made the overall product better.  I’m proud of those who went on to bigger and better things.  Mike Hill at FOX Sports. John Boruk at CSNPhilly and Sara Walsh at ESPN are just three examples in broadcasting.  Other co-workers shine in other lines of work.  I’m lucky and proud to have shared an office with all of them along the way.

We all get busy and that “to do” list that you jotted down last night or after this morning’s workout isn’t always completed by the time the sun sets.  It happens.  But it’s good to take a moment and reflect on the people that make your job worth the grind.  Jerry has a full life with a wonderful wife Janet of 32-years, two sons and two grandsons.  He still tackles the JTG challenges like the day I met him.

Thanks Scottie.

By |2018-08-22T16:55:58+00:00March 8th, 2017|Professional Relationships|Comments Off on The Jerry’s In: JTG is Lucky to have Him

About the Author:

Call it John Dwyer 2.0 After 29 years as a TV Broadcaster, Dwyer is President & CEO of Jobs for Tennessee Graduates (JTG). JTG, an affiliate of Jobs for America’s Graduates (JAG), is a non-profit organization dedicated to stewarding at-risk high school students toward graduation with follow through toward post-secondary education and/or job opportunities. Associated with JAG since 1981, JTG consistently obtains a graduation rate above 90-percent with a full-time job rate at nearly 70-percent. The most vulnerable, socioeconomically challenged young men and women, graduate with self-esteem with the realization and skill set to achieve success after high school. Does it get much better than that? Dwyer, is a resident of the Nashville area since 1996. He was sports director and/or a news anchor at TV stations in Nashville, Jacksonville, Florida; Ft. Myers, FL and his hometown of South Bend, Indiana. He is a 10-time Mid-South Region Emmy Award winner, along with winning numerous other awards. He is also a former Heisman Trophy voter. John is a 1985 graduate of Butler University, where he majored in Radio/TV while minoring in journalism. An avid running (or “plodder” as he likes to call himself), Dwyer runs in Nashville’s annual marathon. (Current tally: 7 Full, 10 Half). He accomplished a goal, once thought out of reach, be qualifying and running in the Boston Marathon in 2009. Married to Lynley, Dwyer resides in East Nashville with his wife and dog Lola. Dwyer served on the Make-A-Wish Middle Tennessee board from 2006-2012, and was board chairman for three years.

JTG on the Frontlines for Equality

Supporting and Empowering our Communities of Color

COVID-19 Update

JAG and JTG Statement in Response to COVID-19

 As we are all feeling, COVID-19 has shifted how the world operates in a way that is unprecedented for our generation, and Jobs for America’s Graduates (JAG) and Jobs for Tennessee Graduates (JTG), one of 39 JAG state affiliates, are no exception. The impact of the coronavirus and the immediate danger it presents has closed our education system, directly affecting students and their families. This is especially detrimental to JTG students, who often look to their JTG Specialists and classmates for steadiness and security in their lives.

We also recognize that our students and their families are disproportionately affected by the closure of restaurants, stores, bars, and other service-industry places of work. These jobs often provide the entry-level opportunities our students need to enter the workforce. A difficult environment is likely to continue for some time, so we are in the process to reposition our training and support to make the best case for our JTG students to be considered for employment.

At a time when we must social distance ourselves to protect each other, the thousands of JTG students we serve need us more than ever.  We are responding to and encouraged by the requests from many JTG Specialists to access online learning modules and platforms provided by JAG educational partners like the Skills to Succeed Academy, EverFi, and Tallo. We are excited to see the interest in the JAG Genius and the use of virtual connectivity and the online sense of community – something we all need in these times.

Jobs for America’s Graduates (JAG) and Jobs for Tennessee Graduates (JTG) recognize we need to modify the way we provide support and deliver competencies to our students during this time of uncertainty. In response to the way business and education are adapting (in real time) to COVID-19,  JAG National is establishing new protocols and processes to ensure full, virtual engagement with our young people to ensure they have the competencies they need to meet the very competitive job market ahead. That is why JAG is providing the immediate recommendations below that are of highest priority, which impact the day-to-day lives of our students and Specialists. Like our world right now, please know that these are in real-time and subject to change.


Moving forward, we will have ongoing recommendations that will be built into new practices that will serve as both short- and long-term solutions to continue JAG’s data-driven model. This will help us remain accountable to our students, our partners, funders, and each other.