EDITOR'S NOTE: On April 7, the NNBW launched the “Support Your Local Business Sweepstakes” as a way to support local businesses in response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Throughout the Sweepstakes in April and May, we'll be featuring each of our business partners in a special Q-and-A. Today, we profile the nonprofit Jobs for Nevada's Graduates.
NNBW: Tell us about your business and some of
the most important services you provide?
Answer: Jobs for Nevada's Graduates (J4NG) is a
nonprofit that inspires, supports and mentors students to create a powerful and
positive future by graduating and finding a career pathway. This multi-year
program starts for students in high school and continues for 12 months after
graduation when students are starting post-secondary education, apprenticeships
or jobs. Students are assigned Specialists who teach a curriculum that includes
practical employment skills and career pathway exploration. After graduation,
Specialists stay with the students to help them navigate their first year of
adulthood, whether through a career, military enlistment or post-secondary
NNBW: What are some of the key things your
business does to ensure premium levels of customer service?
Answer: J4NG places students first, and we are
nimble and responsive to their needs. During the COVID-19 pandemic, all 60 J4NG
Specialists are in weekly contact with each of the students that they serve,
and are available to assist them on an as-needed basis. J4NG is offering
students supportive services with needs arising from the crisis including
assistance with food, bus passes, mortgage/rent and technology needs to access
virtual learning. Our Specialists are assisting students in overcoming
technological barriers to learning and are actively seeking individual
solutions to each student's needs. During regular school times, J4NG students
are enrolled in an elective credit class at their school during a regular class
period. In these classes, credentialed Specialists teach a curriculum focused
on 87 employment and life skill competencies. Their Specialists are not only
their teachers, but also their mentors, and as needed, a caring adult in a
student's life — unfortunately, something not all students have. Each student
receives a minimum of 120 contact hours each year in the program providing
individualized mentoring and coaching with the goal of inspiring each student
to succeed in ways they never imagined.
NNBW: What makes Northern Nevada such a great
place to own and operate a business?
Answer: J4NG was born in Northern Nevada, and our
first programs opened in Reno, Sparks, Dayton and Carson City in 2013. J4NG then expanded and
now serves students across Nevada in fourteen counties. We are committed to
serving not only our great cities, but also our vibrant rural communities. Our
laser focus is to help increase the unacceptably low graduation rates in
Nevada, and our students have achieved a 97% graduation rate. Remarkable
results have been achieved with J4NG's highly effective model of success in
high schools whose students have the most acute need for help.
NNBW: As a local business owner, why do you
feel it's important to give back to the community?
seen the immense generosity of the community in this time of crisis. It is now
critically important to assist our friends and neighbors in need and help them
through this tough time. As a response to the COVID-19 outbreak, schools across
Nevada have shut down in-person learning. This is a delicate time for students,
who no longer have the ability to learn in a classroom setting. Some of our
most vulnerable students and their families will be affected by this economic
downturn the earliest, they will be hit the hardest, and the resulting impacts
will last the longest. This program is critical, now more than ever, to provide
these vulnerable students along with their families tools they need to succeed.
NNBW: What are you doing to support other
local businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic?
Answer: Despite rising demand for their services,
many nonprofits are facing the worst challenge — a decrease in donors.
Businesses who want to help are facing their own challenges and nonprofits are
a regrettable casualty in uncertain times. There are ways to help. For example,
of the nearly 3,600 students that J4NG serves, many don't have access to
computers in order to continue coursework during the school district shutdown.
Q&D Construction, a Reno-based construction company, was able to donate 10
computers to J4NG for distribution to students and their families. J4NG is still
seeking support from the community in the way of computer monitor donations as
well as other necessary supplies. Contact Ann at firstname.lastname@example.org if you are
able to assist. Now is the time nonprofits really need us to help them help
others. Additional ideas to support your favorite local nonprofit in this
critical time include monetary donations, volunteering, and advocating for