The Central Delaware Chamber of Commerce hosted a ribbon-cutting ceremony Sept. 18 for Jobs for Delaware Grads at Caesar Rodney High School in Camden.

Chamber members, ambassadors and staff members joined the team at Jobs for Delaware Grads in celebrating 41 years of helping students achieve success, and recognizing the commitment from staff members, partners and community supporters to educate and prepare each generation of young professionals.

Founded in 1978 under the leadership of Gov. Pete du Pont, JDG began as a one-year pilot program. Since then, JDG has evolved into a Delaware Department of Education Career Pathway, serving more than 4,100 students in grades 6-12 each year; and 75,000 since its inception. The mission of JDG is to assist students in achieving academic, career, personal and social success. Its goal is to help at-risk middle school and high school students by providing them with the skills they need to succeed in school, at work and in life.

JDG is a school-to-work transitional program, designed to address Delaware's unemployment and dropout rates. The program implements a comprehensive curriculum based on 80 employability areas including: career exploration, entrepreneurship, business etiquette and money management. Students who participate in JDG gain first-hand exposure to emerging career fields and engage in leadership, community service and personal enrichment.

With a history of community involvement, JDG is proud of the hours JDG students and staff commit to helping the local community. “Students in Action,” a JDG auxiliary group, connected for the fourth year in a row to the Multiplying Good Foundation, formerly Jefferson Awards Foundation. Within the past three years, its students have contributed more than 10,651 hours of service — a $540,379.85 value, based on the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

This spring, 14 programs were recognized by Mayors Mike Purzycki, Wilmington, Polly Sierer, Newark, Robin Christiansen, Dover, and Archie Campbell, Milford. Its two-term DCA State Officer was honored at the 2019 Governor’s Youth Volunteer Service Awards for her outstanding contribution to the Delmar Wildcat Wellness Food Pantry. Additionally, JDG corporate staff visits the local Habitat for Humanity and other service agencies to volunteer each quarter.

For more, visit jobsdegrads.org or call 734-9341.