Jobs for Delaware Graduates celebrated its 35th anniversary Sept. 26 with a dinner at the Chase Center in downtown Wilmington.
The evening highlighted the success JDG has experienced throughout the First State keeping students in high school and preparing them for future training and the workplace. JDG programs are in every high school in Delaware and select middle schools. The high school graduation rate of students in the program is 93 percent.
The focus of the event was to honor Gov. Pete du Pont, who founded Jobs for Delaware Graduates as a solution to the unemployment problem Delaware was facing 35 years ago. The success of the program led to the creation of Jobs for America’s Graduates, which is now a national program operating in 33 states.
Du Pont was presented the HOPE Award by Gov. Jack Markell. The HOPE Award symbolizes Horizons, Opportunities, Partnerships and Entrepreneurship. These virtues are afforded every student involved in the JDG program.
In addition to Markell, in attendance to honor du Pont were Sen. Tom Carper; Sen. Chris Coons; Rep. John Carney; Wilmington Mayor Dennis Williams; Secretary of Labor John McMahon; Secretary of Education Mark Murphy; Secretary of Technology and Information James Sills III; Rita Landgraf, secretary of the Department of Health and Social Services; Anas Ben Addia, director of Delaware State Housing Authority; Alan Levin, director of Delaware Economic Development Office; and the Hon. Harold Stafford.
The mission of Jobs for Delaware Graduates is to enable students to achieve academic, career, personal and social success by offering programs for in-school youth, dropout recovery and follow-up services. Since its inception, more than 48,000 students have been involved in JDG programs.