Summer presents life-changing opportunities to participants in the Jobs for America’s Graduates-Kansas (JAG-K) program. JAG-K provides opportunities for students to explore careers through employer engagement relationships. Whether it’s through camps, summer jobs or internships, JAG-K Career Specialists help students line up applications, interviews, enrollment or whatever else they need to obtain those experiences.
Summer jobs provide students the opportunity to get introduced to a career field and gain real-world experience in addition to earning money.
Kassie Domann, a senior at Beloit High School, was encouraged by Jacee Tice, the Beloit JAG-K Career Specialist, to apply for a seasonal job with Central Valley Ag (CVA), a farmer-owned cooperative that provides products and services in grain, agronomy, feed and energy.
Domann was familiar with CVA because of the company’s support of the Beloit JAG-K program.
“People from CVA had come into our classroom in the past to talk about opportunities with their company and just about how to prepare for a career. I thought ‘This could be a good summer job for me,’” Domann said.
“Central Valley Ag is committed to improving, encouraging, and enabling the healthy development of youth throughout the region,” said CVA Talent Coordinator Bethany Gilley. “By helping our youth pursue their agricultural career, we ensure that the agricultural industry continues to grow.
“We were impressed with Kassie’s resume and application skills. Those things made her stand out from the other applicants. Managers who didn’t know Kassie was in the JAG-K program commented on how well she presented herself. She made a great first impression.”
Domann was hired to work at the CVA grain elevator in Beloit.
“I went through some orientation and did work to prepare the office for harvest,” Domann said. “When harvest got into full swing, I ran a computer, weighing the trucks and inputting information for farmers who brought their grain.”
Doman learned the technical aspects that of assessment of the quality of the grain. Part of her job involved communicating with customers and recording important information. The job required that she work shifts as long as 12 hours at the height of the harvest season.
“I had a lot of interaction with farmers,” Domann said. “A stressful part of the job was making sure that I had their ticket correct and gave them the right directions. There were times when I was intimidating because it’s a big deal to do everything right. There would be lines of trucks and I would get nervous. It’s their livelihood to get the money they are supposed to get.
“I got a lot more confident as the summer went by. That’s what you need is confidence that you can do the job. And you have to really pay attention to what you’re doing.”
Now a senior and a third-year participant in the Beloit JAG-K program, Domann continues to work part-time at CVA during the fall school semester.
“JAG-K really prepared me to have a job and do it well,” Domann said. “It taught me to be confident in what I was doing. It has helped me know how to be a good employee and how to work well with others. A lot of my job was interacting with the farmers, and I have JAG-K to thank for being ready to do that.”
JAG-K is a multi-year, in-school program for students in grades 6-12. 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 39 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, EagleU, Evergy, Goldstein Charitable Trust, the JB and Anne Hodgdon Foundation, John Deere, the Kansas Chamber of Commerce, Kansas Gas Service, the Kansas Insurance Department, the Kansas State Bank Commissioner, Royals Charities, Synchrony Financial, the Taco Bell Foundation, the City of Topeka, United Way of the Plains 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.