Technically Speaking, These Places Rock

Jobs for Tennessee Graduates (JTG) students come from all walks of life and some of those walks are longer than others.  A survey filled out by nearly 500 JTG students in the fall (it was optional and one could assume if home life was dire, one might not fill it out) of 2016 revealed:

  • 53% Male 47% Female.  72%, White 19%, Black 3%, Multi 1%, Asian 1%, American Indian 4%, Other.
  • 73% believe they will graduate from high school (The actual number will be 96% or above).
  • 25% live with just their mother.  9% live with a relative. 6% live with friends.
  • 31% have a mother who earned a high school diploma or equivalent.  32% have a father who earned a high school diploma or equivalent.
  • 8% of fathers are not employed.
  • 50% are on free and reduced lunch.
  • 27% are in the top fourth of their class.  53% are in the middle, 20% are in the bottom fourth.

Anderson County Career and Technical Center JTG students checking out the program’s mission statement poster. In no way was this posed.

Let that last statistic soak in a bit.  It’s incorrect to assume that JTG students are the bottom few dozen GPA’s in a senior class.  JTG students have been valedictorians, honor students, from affluent homes.  Barriers to graduation range from single-parent households, to living off state and federal programs, absenteeism due to a sick parent and/or a parent serving in the military.

Morgan County Career and Technical Center Director/CTE Director Dr. Joseph Miller supports JTG so much he serves on the program’s board. Again, not a posed picture.

I share this with you so you can get your head around JTG programs at Anderson County Career and Technical Center (Clinton), Morgan County Career and Technical Center (Wartburg) and Wayne County Technology Center (Waynesboro).  They are among the 19 JTG programs thriving in 15 counties.  These places have great leadership and do amazing jobs.  The rock star JTG specialists are Estle Muncy, Sarah Seavers and Gregg Lee, respectively.  Their students feed in from other area high schools.  These students have barriers to graduation but are guided toward post-secondary that align to their interests and lock into a career direction.  Some are earning credits that transfer to community colleges.  Some jump right from the graduation ceremony to full-time employment.  What do you call those young people who have full-time jobs?  TAXPAYERS.

Visiting the JTG students at Wayne County Technology Center in 2015. Absolutely no posing here.

I visited Morgan County Career and Technical Center yesterday and always come away with the way impressed with the way the place is run, how clean it is, the discipline enforced and the attitude of the students.  Same goes for Anderson County County Career and Technical Center and Wayne County Technology Center.  Good people, working their behinds off to make sure their students have every opportunity to succeed.   They fight and scrape for resources from the state and do the best with what they receive.

So the next time you are seen by a nurse practitioner, take your pet to a vet, have your car in the shop or get your hair or nails done, there’s a chance you’ll be helped out by young people who were educated at a career/technical center.  That’s because they had a chance to go to one of them, and receive an education, from good people, that led to a better start to their adulthood.



By |2017-03-07T14:04:55+00:00March 7th, 2017|Academics, College, Uncategorized|1 Comment

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.

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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.