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INDIANAPOLIS (March 21, 2023) – Governor Eric J. Holcomb and the Indiana Department of Workforce Development (DWD) held the 2023 State Career Development Conference Friday, March 17. An annual event for Hoosier high school students enrolled in Jobs for America’s Graduates (JAG) to participate in competitive events that highlight the employability skills they have learned through the program.

As the gateway between industry and talent, DWD’s JAG program builds a talent pipeline to Indiana employers by helping high school students achieve success through high school graduation.

“JAG is helping young Hoosiers define who they want to be and equipping them with the necessary skills to be successful after graduation,” Gov. Holcomb said. “Through JAG, more Indiana students are earning their high school diploma, entering the workforce, enrolling in postsecondary education, and enlisting in the military.”

JAG Indiana’s 15th annual Career Development Conference was the culmination of regional competitions, which focused on disciplines critical to employment. More than 140 students from 57 Indiana high schools advanced to the state conference for an opportunity to earn monetary awards by showcasing skills learned through the program, such as finance, entrepreneurship, and project management.

“JAG is all about building tomorrow’s workforce, today,” said DWD Commissioner David J. Adams. “By connecting talent –especially at an early age — with the knowledge, skills, and abilities needed to access the market, and filling roles employers need immediately, we are moving Indiana forward together. Employers engaged with JAG students get the opportunity to see their future workforce and select their next employees, and students get introduced to real-world employers, jobs, and careers.”

Students competed in 14 categories, including the top Outstanding Senior award. A full list of first, second, and third-place finishers, along with photos of these students, can be found here.

“JAG has been truly beneficial to me,” said Milan High School senior Madison Cavins. “It has helped me grow into the person that I am now, today. JAG has taught me professional interview skills, financial literacy, and public speaking skills, and it has also taught me where to go in life.”

JAG is a state-based, national non-profit organization that assists students with barriers to success by helping them overcome academic challenges and achieve graduation. Students learn up to 88 competencies such as critical thinking, team leadership, and effective communications skills to increase employability.

This year’s conference took place at the Ivy Tech Community College Culinary and Conference Center in Indianapolis. 

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