Empowering students with the skills and support to succeed in education, employment and life – that’s the mission of JAG Nebraska. By utilizing a model developed by the national Jobs for America’s Graduates (JAG) organization, the program is dedicated to empowering students with personal and professional development training and support to succeed in high school, further education and employment following graduation.

Founded in 2019 through a partnership with the State of Nebraska’s Departments of Labor and Health and Human Services – JAG Nebraska started with three schools and has now grown to serve over 1,000 students at 34 middle and high schools across the state. With the current support of Governor Jim Pillen, Commissioner John Albin and DHHS CEO Dannette Smith – we plan to grow JAG Nebraska by 38 programs for the school year beginning in August 2024 –exponentially increasing capacity to serve all students that would benefit from JAG Nebraska. 

Through this unique public-private partnership, there is no charge to schools offering JAG Nebraska for the first two years. Then moving forward, the cost is $10,000 per year for the program.

JAG Nebraska is an evidence-based, for-credit classroom elective that provides professional and technical education to all students who need, want or can benefit from the assistance.


Since 2019, JAG Nebraska has served 2,200 students through 34 programs at 31 schools in 15 school districts – and the numbers only continue to grow as data supporting the success of the program increases. This is good news for the young people in Nebraska who face significant barriers to success.

Our students are gaining skills and employment by …

  • Increasing GPA or academic performance
  • Increasing confidence
  • Developing meaningful connection
  • Fulfilling social responsibility and civic service
  • Earning financial empowerment for a sustainable future

The JAG Advantage model of learning empowers students to overcome their challenges and achieve in school, work and life


At a time when Nebraska employers face significant difficulty attracting enough skilled workers, JAG students are the solution to the problem. They are a diverse and inclusive group of individuals who are ready to use their training and talents in the workplace.

Our young people are the future of our state. We need to afford them every opportunity to succeed in school, in the workforce and in life – and JAG Nebraska can help students see their potential and work to reach their goals.”

– Nebraska Governor Jim Pillen


JAG Nebraska is aligned with the guiding principles and priorities of the Nebraska Career and Technical Education (CTE) program, part of the Nebraska Department of Education. CTEs like JAG help students explore career options, identify interests and develop skills that prepare success in Nebraska’s workforce. 

At $1,800 per student, JAG provides a comprehensive range of services that help each participant to succeed for $5 per school day.


The JAG Advantage model incorporates three key components, proven to ensure students’ development and success:

  • employer engagement
  • trauma-informed care
  • project-based learning

All JAG participants are expected to master up to 87 core competencies, based around:

  • career development
  • job attainment
  •  job survival
  •  basic skills
  •  leadership and self-development
  •  personal skills

JAG-Nebraska Board of Directors January – December 2021

Pete Ricketts

State of Nebraska

Governor Pete Ricketts was sworn in as Nebraska’s 40th Governor on January 8, 2015 and reelected to a second term in November 2018.

John H. Albin

Nebraska Department of Labor

John H. Albin, a native of Humboldt, Nebraska, was appointed as Commissioner of Labor by Governor Pete Ricketts in January 2015.

K.C. Beltiz

Nebraska Community Foundation

K.C. Belitz is currently the Chief Operating Officer of the Nebraska Community Foundation. As Chief Operating Officer, K.C.

Kathy J. Fuchser, Ed.D.

Columbus Campus President/Division VP

Dr. Fuchser hold a Bachelor of Arts degree in Education/English from William Jewell College in Liberty, Missouri.

Stacie J. Hardy

Umonhon Nation Public Schools

Stacie J. Hardy has served as the Superintendent of Umonhon Nation Public Schools for the past 6 years.

DeLayne Havlovic

K-12 Coordinator of Career Education & Programming

DeLayne Havlovic serves Omaha Public Schools as the K-12 Coordinator of Career

Ted Hibbeler

Tribal Extension Educator/UNL/Extension Division

Ted Hibbeler is a member of the Iron Shell family (Maza Pon Kesh Ka Tiospaye)

Lisa Hurley

Executive Director
York County

Lisa Hurley is a Certified Economic Developer through the International Economic Development Council

Heidi Isley

Associated Staffing, Inc.

Heidi Isley is the Director of Operations for Associated Staffing Inc..

Dan Phillips

Director of Innovation for Career & College Readiness

Daniel Phillips is the Director of Innovation for Career & College Readiness

Dan Waters

Lampson, Dugan & Murray / UWM Board Member

Dan Waters is a business and estate planning attorney in Omaha. He advises a variety of individual

Brian Woolfolk

Head of Institutional Division
Pacific Life

Mr. Woolfolk serves as senior vice president and head of the Institutional Division.