2016 JAGEvery year Jobs for Americas Graduates (JAG) host a National meeting in Washington D.C. and each time I come back inspired by the young people, the extraordinary Job Specialist and the devoted public servants that I meet. It is so encouraging to see the results of the great work the organization does with High Risk Youth. In a world of metrics, JAG return on investment is second to no other education non-profit organization. In 2016 JAG reported that we have achieved the highest results in our 33-year history.


We measure results of our program 1 year after high school graduation. We work with High Risk Youth who are challenged by their circumstances to complete high school and often do not get an opportunity to become positive contributors to society. The class of 2015 had nearly 94% graduation rate and the first time we have exceeded a 60% job placement rate.  This is one of the most challenging statistics for our students to achieve, as young people in general and disadvantaged and at-risk youth in particular have the highest unemployment rate in the nation – but JAG students have achieved remarkable success!  We are very proud of the results and in addition to this fantastic graduation rate we also achieved the following:

  • 82% are working, in college, or a combination
  • 61% are working (well over double the rate for this population)
  • 73% of those working are in full time jobs (triple the rate for the population)
  • 89% are in full time placement (The combination of work or college alone or together, equal to a 40-hour weekly commitment of time)
  • 43% are furthering their education

Please consider joining me in whatever way you can to support our effort, especially here in New Jersey where JAG has made a significant impact in Newark and Camden.

 Jobs for America’s Graduates (JAG) is a state-based national non-profit organization dedicated to preventing dropouts among young people who are most at-risk. In more than three decades of operation, JAG has delivered consistent, compelling results – helping nearly three-quarters of a million young people stay in school through graduation, pursue postsecondary education and secure quality entry-level jobs leading to career advancement opportunities.

Richard Nordstrom is the Founder and CEO of Liberate Ideas Inc. He has been a member of the Job’s for Americas Graduates National Board of Directors and a founding member of the Job’s for New Jersey Graduates Advisory Board. The Healthcare Marketers Exchange recently recognized Richard with a Humanitarian Award for his work with JAG