Governor Steve Bullock today announced a $30,000 grant from AT&T to create a Jobs for Montana’s Graduates (JMG) student-run entrepreneurship program at East Middle School that will help students develop the skills to transition from the classroom to the workplace.
“This is an incredible opportunity to equip Montana’s future businessmen and women, entrepreneurs, and problem-solvers with the skills needed to ensure a bright future and one day be leaders in our great state,” Governor Bullock said. “I look forward to all of the amazing things these Montana students will accomplish with this support from AT&T and Jobs for Montana’s Graduates.”
The grant was awarded to JMG, a Department of Labor & Industry program dedicated to teaching students the skills they need for college or career readiness. JMG will help launch the class with grant funding, but students will establish a business called Ram Enterprise and manage all day-to-day operations.
East Middle School is the first middle school in the country to receive an Aspire grant from AT&T.
“We’re proud to be the first middle school in the nation to receive this generous grant from AT&T,” said Tammy Lacey, Superintendent of Great Falls Public Schools. “Students at East Middle School will be part of an innovative program that teaches entrepreneurial skills and creates a meaningful path to a career.”
Middle school students 11 to 14 years old will run every aspect of JMG’s Ram Enterprise including hiring their peers, producing goods, marketing and accounting. Students learn trade skills including woodworking, engraving, and ceramics. Projects will include creating cutting boards, coasters, and other goods to be sold at local events and venues for a real paycheck.
Montana is one of 24 state programs to share $3.5 million from AT&T. The $30,000 grant is part of AT&T Aspire, which provides access to education and training people need to get and keep good jobs. Since 2008, AT&T has committed $450 million to help millions of students in all 50 states and around the world.
About Jobs for Montana’s Graduates
Jobs for Montana’s Graduates provides students an opportunity to practice decision making, critical thinking, leadership skills, while learning the important soft skills needed for career readiness to gain employment. JMG encourages students to stay in school, graduate and successfully transition from school to employment, post-secondary education, apprenticeship, or military service. The program is funded by the Montana Department of Labor & Industry to support students in connecting with their communities by providing them with leadership development, social and civic responsibility, and career awareness to over 18,000 students.
About Philanthropy and Social Innovation at AT&T
AT&T Inc. is committed to advancing education, strengthening communities and improving lives. We have a long history of investing in projects that create learning opportunities, promote academic and economic achievement, and address community needs. Our AT&T Aspire initiative uses innovation in education to drive student success in school and beyond. With a financial commitment of $450 million since 2008, AT&T is leveraging technology, relationships and social innovation to help all students make their biggest dreams a reality.