July 13, 2021
Gary Schools IT Department Partners with JAG to Prepare Students for Careers in Technology
(Gary, IND) – The Gary Community School Corporation has partnered with the Indiana Jobs for America’s Graduates (JAG) Program for the summer, hiring 14 interns to support its Information Technology Department. JAG is a state-based, national non-profit organization dedicated to helping high school students of promise who have experienced challenging or traumatic life experiences achieve success through graduation.  
“The students are gaining hands-on experience this summer that will give them an inside look into Information Technology,” said Darrell Riddell, IT Director for the Gary Schools. “We’re in need of more IT team members within the district, so we’re hoping to recruit some of the JAG students as full-time employees at the program’s completion.” 

JAG is a resiliency-building workforce preparation program that helps students learn in-demand employability skills and provides a bridge to post-secondary education and career advancement opportunities.  

With the careers in technology consistently on the rise, this partnership was beneficial to both the young adults and the school district. Since the beginning of the year, there have been over 500,000 IT roles available in the U.S., and the number of IT and software jobs is expected to double in 10 years.  

Students graduating from top universities in the nation are starting at an average annual salary of $120,000 with post-graduate degrees with a focus on machine learning or artificial intelligence going as high as $350,000. 
“We are laser-focused on providing a variety of opportunities for students that introduce them to viable career paths,” said Dr. Paige McNulty, Manager of the Gary Community School Corporation. “The JAG program is a great way to build our own workforce right here in the District.”
The JAG program is available to students starting their junior year in high school and supports them through the rest of their academic career. West Side Leadership Academy currently offers two classes during the academic year where students learn everything from resume building to interviewing skills. JAG offers paid, hands-on employment experiences in careers that students are interested in pursuing after high school.
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Caption: Two recent West Side Leadership Academy graduates have taken advantage of the opportunity to jumpstart their careers in IT through the partnership forged between the Gary Community School Corporation and JAG.  Pictured are Damari Rozier and Jovonie Redmond and the full cohort of IT interns.