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AT&T's $3.5 million contribution to 'Jobs for America's Graduates' will help reach more New Jersey youth at risk of dropping out


LAWRENCEVILLE, NJ, December 12, 2017 - Jobs for New Jersey's Graduates and AT&T are working together to help raise the high school graduation rate and support career paths for underserved students. Because of its success in keeping kids in school, Jobs for New Jersey's Graduates was one of 34 Jobs for America's Graduates (JAG) state affiliates selected to share in $3.5 million from AT&T. The announcement was made at Jobs for New Jersey's annual Student Leadership Conference at Rider University.

AT&T contributed $155,000 this year to support JAG's programs in New Jersey, including $130,000 through this national initiative.

The JAG program equips students to overcome obstacles to a high school diploma or High School Equivalency Test. The program does this through mentoring, academic support, links to social services, and other interventions. Students are guided into post-secondary education, entry-level jobs with pathways to successful careers or the military.

Jobs for New Jersey's Graduates will use the contribution to grow the program to reach more students and provide additional support for all participants to further enhance their preparation for college and careers.

"The New Jersey Chamber of Commerce Foundation greatly appreciates the support from corporate partners, such as AT&T, to invest in the future success of our very talented Jobs for New Jersey's Graduates students. New Jersey is one of 34 states participating in this national initiative and we are the only state that is funded 100% from private sources," said Donna Custard, President of the New Jersey Chamber of Commerce Foundation, which operates the JAG chapter in New Jersey.

Joseph Divis, AT&T's assistant vice president for External Affairs, said the contribution helps build the workforce of the future.

"Helping students develop the skills they need to succeed in 21st century careers is a critical step to building the diverse workforce we need to power our company - and our country - for the future," Divis said. "JAG has a track record of success and this funding will allow them to provide even more students from New Jersey the opportunity to thrive."

Divis added that the contribution is among many AT&T has made this year to prepare the Garden State's young people for college and careers. All told, including today's announcement, AT&T contributed $520,000 to Aspire-aligned programs across the state in 2017.

In 2016, JAG's network of affiliates reported a 95% high school graduation rate, compared to the national graduation rate of 83% in 2015. Currently, the JAG model is offered in nearly 1,250 public high schools, community colleges, and alternative learning centers in 34 states.

In more than three decades of operation, JAG has helped more than 1.2 million young people stay in school through graduation, pursue post-secondary education and secure quality entry-level jobs leading to career advancement opportunities. Nationally, the JAG Graduating Class of 2016 achieved 84% successful outcomes, meaning students were enrolled in post-secondary education, were employed, or some combination of the two within 12 months after they graduated from high school.

In 2017, Jobs for New Jersey's Graduates achieved a 92% graduation rate, compared to the 60% to 88% graduation rates of Jobs for New Jersey's Graduates peers in the same schools.

Since 2008, AT&T and the AT&T Foundation have provided more than $11.4 million in funding to JAG and its local affiliates. This support is part of AT&T Aspire, which helps provide access to education and training people need to get and keep good jobs. Since 2008, AT&T has committed $400 million to help millions of students in all 50 states and around the world.


About Jobs for America's Graduates

Jobs for America's Graduates (JAG), is a non-profit youth development program committed to helping America's most at-risk kids excel in high schools, prepare for success in college, and embark on a rewarding career. Since its inception in 1980, JAG has served over 1.2 million at-risk kids, and is currently serving over 57,000 students in 34 states. JAG students have a graduation rate of over 90 percent, and approximately 80 percent of those graduates go on to postsecondary education, military service and/or full-time employment.


About Philanthropy and Social Innovation at AT&T

AT&T Inc. is committed to advancing education, strengthening communities and improving lives. We have a long history of investing in projects that create learning opportunities, promote academic and economic achievement, and address community needs. Our AT&T Aspire initiative uses innovation in education to drive student success in school and beyond. With a financial commitment of $400 million since 2008, AT&T is leveraging technology, relationships and social innovation to help all students make their biggest dreams a reality.


For more information, contact:

Daniel Langan
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Donna Custard
President, NJ Chamber of Commerce Foundation
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