In recognition of National Volunteer Week, members of the American Staffing Association (ASA) met virtually with members of the Jobs for America’s Graduates-Kansas (JAG-K) program at Augusta High School Thursday morning to discuss employability and hiring trends.
A supporter of the national Jobs for America’s Graduates (JAG) organization, ASA advances the interests of the U.S. staffing, recruiting, and workforce solutions industry through advocacy, research, education, and the promotion of high standards of legal, ethical, and professional practices. Richard Wahlquist, CEO of ASA, serves on the national JAG board.
Several members of ASA spoke with participants in the JAG-K program at Augusta High School about job searches, resume tips, and ways to improve the search for work.
“We were honored and excited to dialogue with these professionals about employment trends,” said Christy Pray, JAG-K Career Specialist at Augusta High School. “They provided expert insight into the process of hiring from the standpoint of employers. For them to take time out to meet with our students was really special.”
The panel consisted of ASA members from across the U.S. including Jamie Stafford, Vice President of Key Staffing in Topeka and a member of the ASA.
“Being able to converse with Augusta’s high school students and see the drive to get ahead that JAG has instilled in them is very inspirational,” said Stafford, who is a member of the JAG-K Board of Directors. “I am honored to have been able to share some tips with them. They have great potential.”
The roundtable discussion emphasized how hiring has changed since the pandemic and how to stand out as an applicant. Students were able to ask questions specific to their own career plans.
“Today was really helpful to hear from professionals at ASA,” said Augusta High School sophomore Aaron Wells. “I appreciate how they took the time to talk to us and encourage us. I feel that I learned a lot on how to be better prepared for a job interview.”
Kansas’ 81 JAG programs, which serve approximately 4,300 students in 43 school districts across the state, reported a graduation rate of 97 percent for the Class of 2020.
JAG-K is a multi-year, in-school program for students in grades 6-12 that offers tools to successfully transition students into post-secondary school, the military, or directly into the workforce with marketable skills. Participants in the program face multiple barriers to success that their JAG-K Career Specialist helps them overcome through a nationally accredited, evidence-based model.
The 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization is a state affiliate of the national JAG program network which operates in 40 different states and territories. It is primarily funded through the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families block grant to the State of Kansas administered by the Kansas Department for Children and Families (DCF). In addition to school districts and DCF, JAG-K partners with the Kansas Department of Education. Other JAG-K funding sources include ADM, AT&T, Evergy, Goldstein Charitable Trust, John Deere, the Kansas Health Foundation, the Kansas Insurance Department, the Kansas State Bank Commissioner, Stormont Vail Health, Synchrony Financial, the Taco Bell Foundation and Walmart.
To learn more about JAG-K, visit www.jagkansas.org, ‘Jobs for America’s Graduates-Kansas’ on Facebook, and on Twitter at @JAG_Kansas.