JPMorgan Chase Announces $75 Million Global Initiative to Address Economic Opportunity Crisis Facing Young People

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JPMorgan Chase Announces $75 Million Global Initiative to Address Economic Opportunity Crisis Facing Young People

New Skills for Youth will encourage U.S. states to transform career-focused education programs and invest in effective strategies for scaling high-quality, skills-based training and education globally
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Tuesday, January 19, 2016 - 8:15am

CONTENT: Press Release

NEW YORK, January 19, 2016 /3BL Media/ – JPMorgan Chase & Co. today announced a new $75 million, five-year global initiative to address the youth unemployment crisis and expand young people’s access to economic opportunity. With the global economy requiring a more skilled workforce, New Skills for Youth is designed to increase dramatically the number of young people who complete career pathways that begin in high school and end with postsecondary degrees or credentials aligned with good-paying, high-demand jobs.

“Economic opportunity is increasingly out of reach for millions of young people,” said Jamie Dimon, Chairman and CEO, JPMorgan Chase. “It is a crisis that only 60 percent of students in high-poverty urban school districts graduate from high school and that more than five million young people are out of work and school. Without the right skills or education, they find themselves stuck in low-skill, low-wage jobs or unemployed. We are in investing in high-quality career-focused education programs so that more young people have a shot at real economic opportunity.”

Young People Need More Opportunity to Access Education and Skills to Compete for Jobs

Currently, employers are struggling to fill middle-skill jobs in computer technology, nursing, advanced manufacturing and other fields that require technical education and training. Too few young people are receiving the education or training in high school and beyond that would put them on a track to qualify for these skills-based positions. By the age of 25, only one out of every two young Americans (52 percent) has a meaningful postsecondary credential that enables them to compete for a good-paying job and the U.S. youth unemployment rate is more than double the national rate. While a four-year college degree is one pathway, there are many high-demand, skill-based jobs available for young people that earn a certificate or credentials, participate in an apprenticeship or receive a two-year associate’s degree.  But without the necessary postsecondary education or training, young people face dwindling job prospects and lower wages over their lifetimes.

Low-income people and young people of color are most vulnerable to missing out on opportunities to advance economically because they have not received the right skills or training. More than one in five young African American and Latino young people are neither working nor in school. Because they do not have strong connections to the job market or the education system, they are earning lower wages and relying more on social services.

“Career and technical education - also known as CTE - has always been a passion of mine,” said U.S. Senator Tim Kaine. “From growing up working in my father's ironworking shop, to teaching welding and carpentry to students in Honduras, to co-founding the Career and Technical Education Caucus in the Senate, I’ve witnessed the incredible power of CTE to help move people up the economic ladder. The New Skills for Youth program will help prepare America's students for the jobs of the 21st century through hands-on learning experiences. I’m proud to help announce this program, which will help states make systemic changes to transform CTE programs and expand partnerships between schools, businesses, and communities.”

“Education has always been the great equalizer in America, but for far too many young people access to quality skills training remains out of reach,” said U.S Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez. “Addressing this opportunity gap requires that government, community-based organizations, educators, and employers like JPMorgan Chase & Co. work together to ensure that zip code does not determine destiny for America's young people.”

“Educators know the value of creating and broadening pathways for students into good jobs, which is one reason the AFT so strongly supports career and technical education,” said Randi Weingarten, President, American Federation of Teachers. “But we also know that successful programs require collaboration with many partners, including the business community. That’s why the AFT is glad to see JPMorgan Chase launch this initiative, which can help our nation deliver on the promise of a high-quality public education for all students.”

“We need private sector leadership to understand the mutuality of benefits that come in addressing income inequality and wage stagnation that continues to increase in America,” said Marc Morial, CEO, National Urban League. “Young African Americans continue to face profound difficulties gaining access to training and the right jobs. The National Urban League is deeply engaged in workforce issues and initiatives like New Skills for Youth are a critical step forward.”

New Skills for Youth Approach and Implementation

To strengthen career education and create pathways to economic success, JPMorgan Chase will catalyze resources, leverage its expertise and convene government, business and education leaders. New Skills for Youth will confront these challenges from two angles:

  1. U.S. State Competition: To transform how U.S. states design and deliver career-focused education, JPMorgan Chase will work with the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) and the National Association of State Directors of Career Technical Education Consortium to launch a competition for states seeking to expand and improve their career education systems. Successful states will bring together education leaders, business partners and community partners to set ambitious goals for expanding access to and ensuring preparation for careers in high-skill, high-wage jobs. CCSSO will execute the grant program and convene an advisory group of experts to review applications and select winners. In the spring of 2016, CCSSO, using grant funding from JPMorgan Chase, will award $100,000 grants to approximately 20-25 states for planning and early implementation of long-term career readiness education programs that align with the needs of area employers. In the fall of 2016, CCSSO, using grant funding from JPMorgan Chase, will award approximately 10 states with $1.5 million to $2 million, per state, over three years to implement and assess their demand-driven career and technical education programs. More information about applying for these grants is available at:
  2. Global Innovation Investments: To promote global innovation in career-focused education, JPMorgan Chase will invest in city and school programs around the world that are developing new and effective models of high quality career-focused education. The goal is to increase the number of students, especially low-income young people, who earn meaningful postsecondary and workforce credentials. Effective programs will be aligned with the needs of emerging industries that are looking for skilled workers to fill good-paying jobs in the growing global economy. By documenting the success of these programs, New Skills for Youth will help educators, policymakers, training providers and employers around the world to identify and replicate the most promising approaches.

“State education leaders have demonstrated a strong commitment to making sure all children are not only prepared for college but ready for careers once they graduate from high school,” said Chris Minnich, Executive Director of the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO). “Through CCSSO’s Career Readiness Initiative, states are creating bold plans to reinvent learning so every child has the opportunity to experience a meaningful career pathway that prepares them for the high-skill, high-demand needs of today’s economy. This historic investment from JPMorgan Chase will help states make this vision a reality in the next several years.”

“High quality career and technical education rooted in equity principles is critical to growing our economy, matching employers with skilled workers, and expanding economic opportunity for all,” said Wade Henderson, President and CEO, The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights. “I am encouraged that JPMorgan Chase will be investing in this important work and appreciate their thoughtful approach and consultation with the civil rights community. We stand ready to help state, education, and industry leaders ensure that the missteps of the past in tracking students and denying access to the full range of college and career options are not repeated and that career and technical education is a path toward equity.”

With New Skills for Youth, JPMorgan Chase builds on a comprehensive set of philanthropic investments in promising approaches to increasing economic opportunity. Over the last several years, JPMorgan Chase has developed several initiatives to drive more inclusive growth, including:

  • New Skills at Work: A $250 million, five-year effort to tackle the skills gap by investing in data-driven approaches to middle skills training for job seekers who have a high school degree, but lack postsecondary credentials.
  • Summer Youth Employment: A $5 million investment in 14 U.S. cities to address the youth employment crisis by providing young people with skills-based early work experience.
  • The Fellowship Initiative: A program in New York City, Chicago and Los Angeles that provides young men of color with hands-on academic, social and emotional support to help them achieve personal and professional success.
  • J.P. Morgan Residential Aspiring Professional Programme: A program with the Social Mobility Foundation through which J.P. Morgan provides more than 50 low-income students from across the United Kingdom with work-placements and mentoring from top executives to help equip students with vital workplace skills.

Additional Notable Statements of Support

“In an increasingly digital world, companies that want to remain competitive need to step up and provide the training necessary to create a highly-skilled workforce for today’s advanced manufacturing environment,” said Eric Spiegel, President and CEO, Siemens USA. “At Siemens, we invest millions in training and apprenticeships each year to support our employees and our businesses. Through New Skills for Youth, JPMorgan Chase is creating new opportunities for young Americans to gain the education and training they need to thrive in exciting, well-paying careers in advanced manufacturing and other fields and I commend them for their efforts.”

“Upskilling our young is critical to the growth of the economy and is the seminal issue of our time,” said Nick Pinchuk, Chairman and CEO of Snap-on Incorporated. “JPMorgan Chase’s investment in improving career and technical education will go a long way to putting future generations on a pathway to rewarding jobs and fulfilling lives.”

“We applaud JPMorgan Chase’s investment in careers and technical education,” said Joanna Geraghty, President, JetBlue Foundation and Executive Vice President, Customer Experience, JetBlue. “Engaging students and peaking their interest in technical education early on is key to helping them stay in school and graduate with a higher earning potential – this is even more important for students from underrepresented groups.”

 “A bachelor’s degree is still as important as ever, but we need to recognize that people take different paths at different points in their lives,” said Freeman Hrabowski, President, University of Maryland, Baltimore County. “JPMorgan Chase is working to align education pathways with the skills employers need and better prepare young people to succeed in the labor market.”

“Transforming career and technical education is an essential part of enabling students to acquire the skills they need to compete for good jobs and follow a clear pathway to the middle class,” said Johan Uvin, Acting Assistant Secretary for Career, Technical and Adult Education, U.S. Department of Education. “Effective, high-quality CTE programs offer students opportunities for career awareness and preparation by providing them with the academic and technical knowledge along with the work-related skills necessary to succeed in postsecondary education, training, and employment. I applaud JPMorgan Chase’s commitment to expanding and improving career-focused education through the New Skills for Youth initiative. Their leadership will help support states in implementing systems reform and expanding promising new approaches to the design and delivery of education that prepares young people for careers in high-skill, high-wage jobs.”

“We know firsthand that high-quality career-focused education can be a game changer for students and put them on a pathway to lifelong success,” said Kimberly Green, Executive Director of National Association of State Directors of Career Technical Education Consortium (NASDCTEc). “We are thrilled to be a part of JPMorgan Chase's New Skills for Youth initiative, the largest private investment in high-quality CTE I've witnessed in my 20-plus years in the field. This infusion of resources and technical assistance has the potential to be transformative and ensure more students than ever before have access to quality programs that prepare them for the careers of their choice.”

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About JPMorgan Chase & Co.
JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE: JPM) is a leading global financial services firm with assets of $2.4 trillion and operations worldwide. The Firm is a leader in investment banking, financial services for consumers and small businesses, commercial banking, financial transaction processing, and asset management. A component of the Dow Jones Industrial Average, JPMorgan Chase & Co. serves millions of consumers in the United States and many of the world's most prominent corporate, institutional and government clients under its J.P. Morgan and Chase brands. The firm uses its global resources, expertise, insights and scale to address some of the most urgent challenges facing communities around the world including the need for increased economic opportunity. Information about JPMorgan Chase & Co. is available at

Keywords: Finance & Socially Responsible Investment | CCSSO | CTE | Careers | Careet and Technical Training | Chase | Diversity & Human Resources | Education | Human Resources | JPMorgan | JPMorgan Chase & Co.

CONTENT: Press Release