JAG Nevada Story
In October 2014, Governor Brian Sandoval appointed the 26 members of the JAG Nevada Board of Directors and conducted the inaugural meeting. Drawing from some of the brightest minds in the state, the Governor appointed a majority of members drawn from the private sector as well as representatives from K-12 and the public sector. Some of the luminaries include Superintendent of CCSD Schools Pat Skorkowsky, Jeff Davey of GE, Punam Mathur of the Elaine Wynn Foundation and Kirk Clausen of Wells Fargo Bank.
In his State of the State address on January 15, 2015, Governor Brian Sandoval mentioned JAG Nevada as one of his proposed funded strategies to reduce the dropout rate and increase employment rate of youth in Nevada. Over the next biennium, the Governor’s budget proposed to expand JAG Nevada. This goal was met, with 53 programs in 41 schools across the state for the 2017 -2018 school year. This growth could only be accomplished with state government and private enterprise joining together to create a diverse funding base for a program that yields 90% plus graduation rates and cuts youth unemployment in half among youth participants. Strada Education Network (formerly USA Funds), AT&T and MGM Resorts International have joined in funding this expanded effort across Nevada.
Led by the executive director, the management team is responsible for realizing the vision and mission of the organization, ensuring that the strategic direction set forth by the board of directors is followed, and confirming that the fiscal and programmatic elements of the program are carried out efficiently and effectively. The executive director is assisted by the director of finance and operations whose main role is to ensure that the organization operates in a fiscally efficient manner that complies with generally accepted accounting principles.
Programmatic oversight of the program in a geographically dispersed state like Nevada necessitated that two offices be established to conduct the business of the nonprofit. The office where the executive director resides is located at on the Charleston campus of College of Southern Nevada in Las Vegas. The Program Director for Region 3 operates from Las Vegas and is responsible for the programmatic oversight of the JAG program. The Program Director for Regions 1 and 2 operates satellite office in Reno, where the team is charged with supporting the JAG Specialists in northern and western Nevada.
The state of Nevada has been organized into 3 distinct regions for the purpose of meeting the local needs of the communities JAG Nevada serves. Region 1 includes western Nevada communities including Reno, Sparks, Carson City, Minden and Fernley. Region 2 encompasses the largest geographic region and includes West Wendover, White Pine, McDermitt, Tonopah and Panaca. Region 3 is comprised of schools in the Clark County School District and Pahrump in Southern Nye County.
The role of the JAG Coordinator is to provide oversight, supervision and technical support to the JAG Specialists embedded in each of the high schools served. This direct programmatic supervision ensures that student recruitment, instruction and service to students embodies the letter and spirit of the JAG program, which is accredited by the national Jobs for America’s Graduates organization.
School Advisory Committee
Each school principal assigns an advisory committee, which will assist the JAG Specialist in the recruitment of students who meet program criteria. Prior to hiring the JAG Specialist, the principal and members of the advisory committee work in concert with the JAG Nevada management team to recruit, interview and select the JAG Specialist. By interviewing and hiring the JAG Specialist jointly, the school administration develops a sense of ownership over the JAG Nevada program in their community.