JAG-K students learn about careers in the banking industry from Kansas Bankers Association's YBOK

Greg Williams
Butler County Times Gazette
Jobs for America’s Graduates-Kansas (JAG-K) programs at Augusta High School and Wichita North High School met with representatives of the Kansas Bankers Association’s Young Bank Officers of Kansas (YBOK)

Participants in the Jobs for America’s Graduates-Kansas (JAG-K) programs at Augusta High School and Wichita North High School met with representatives of the Kansas Bankers Association’s Young Bank Officers of Kansas (YBOK) Division Wednesday at INTRUST Bank to learn about careers in the banking industry.

On Thursday at the 2021 Young Bank Officers of Kansas Annual Fall Conference, YBOK representatives presented a donation of $1,500 to JAG-K President/CEO Chuck Knapp.

The two days of interaction between JAG-K and the banking employees exemplified the commitment by the Kansas Bankers Association to developing the future workforce of Kansas.

“JAG-K is doing fantastic work within our school districts already. The Young Bank Officers of Kansas recognizes the work that they’re doing, and we see them as partners who we can work with to invest in young people,” said Alex Orel, Kansas Bankers Association Senior Vice President-Government Relations. “Workforce development is a serious issue for all industries, not just banking. We see ourselves as part of the team to help prepare the next generation to pursue their dreams.”

(left to right: Alex Orel, Kansas Bankers Association Senior Vice President-Government Relations; Derek Bailey, Young Bank Officers of Kansas President; Chuck Knapp, JAG-K President/CEO)

On Wednesday, JAG-K statewide student president Devin Russell-Unger spoke to members of YBOK about the benefits of the JAG-K program. Students toured the INTRUST Bank corporate headquarters at 105 N. Main St., Wichita, and heard from several members of YBOK about their personal experiences in the banking industry.

INTRUST Bank President Jay Smith told students that the most important thing they could develop to be successful is character qualities, such as compassion, responsibility, and honesty.

“We are so appreciative of employers and industry leaders who take time to meet with our students and cast the vision for where they can go in their careers,” Knapp said. “The students really enjoyed the tour of the bank and learning about some opportunities they didn't know existed.”

JAG-K is a multi-year, in-school program for students in grades seven through 12 that offers tools to successfully transition students into the post-secondary school, the military, or directly into the workforce with marketable skills. Participants in the program face multiple barriers to success that their JAG-K Career Specialist helps them overcome through a nationally accredited, evidence-based model.

JAG-K participants having lunch and talking about career options with the Kansas Bankers Association members.

The 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization is a state affiliate of the national JAG program network which operates in 40 different states and territories. It is primarily funded through the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families block grant to the State of Kansas administered by the Kansas Department for Children and Families (DCF).

In addition to school districts and DCF, JAG-K partners with the Kansas Department of Education. Other JAG-K funding sources include AT&T, John Deere, Synchrony Financial, Taco Bell, and Walmart.

To learn more about JAG-K, visit www.jagkansas.org, ‘Jobs for America’s Graduates-Kansas’ on Facebook, and on Twitter at @JAG_Kansas.

Greg Williams has been the reporter for the Wellington Daily News and Butler County Times-Gazette since May 2021. You can reach him at GWilliams@gannett.com or on Twitter at @GregWilliams28.