JPMorgan Chase recently announced a global initiative to better prepare young people for the jobs of today and tomorrow by investing $75 million and advancing smarter policy solutions. The new five-year, 10-site investment and policy priorities are part of New Skills at Work, the firm’s $350 million commitment to prepare adults and kids for the future of work.
Starting with a $7 million commitment in Denver, Colorado, JPMorgan Chase’s global career readiness initiative will develop pathways and policy recommendations that give underserved students access to higher education and real-world work experiences that lead to high-wage, in-demand jobs.
“Too many young people are being left behind without the education, skills and experience needed to get well-paying jobs,” said Jamie Dimon, Chairman and CEO of JPMorgan Chase. “Now, more than ever, businesses, government, and communities must work together to prepare young people for the future of work so they have a better shot at building a good financial life for themselves and their families.”
Globally, roughly one-fifth of young people ages 15 to 24 are neither employed nor receiving education or training, suggesting that they will need alternative pathways to obtain the skills and experience necessary to succeed in the labor market. In the U.S., just 41 percent of young adults have completed education beyond high school at a time when well-paying jobs increasingly require a two- or four-year degree or some type of additional training.
Rapid changes in technology, automation, and artificial intelligence continue to shape the economy and exacerbate the disconnect between skills and jobs, setting young people further behind. The lack of skilled workers threatens business sustainability as employers struggle to find talent to fill open jobs.
JPMorgan Chase is making investments and advocating for policy solutions that tackle youth unemployment and expand access to economic opportunity for young people starting in high school.
Investments Lead to Smarter Policy
Existing education and training systems are not meeting the growing demand for skilled workers, nor are they effectively connecting adults and youth to well-paying jobs. Over the last five years, JPMorgan Chase has made investments to help build partnerships between school systems, employers, and government agencies that can lead to smarter policies for creating career pathways. Starting in 2015, JPMorgan Chase, working with national partners, Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO), Advance CTE, and Education Strategy Group, supported 10 U.S. states to advance economic opportunity for hundreds of thousands of students. This effort led to the development of cross-sector partnerships, aligning educational programming with high-demand fields and occupations, and leveraging accountability systems and funding mechanisms to support and scale high-quality programs. At the same time, JPMorgan Chase supported partners at 12 local programs that were showing progress around the world to pilot new and innovative approaches to career education.
As a result, the firm zeroed in on three lessons learned from efforts that successfully expand economic opportunity for students starting in high school and are being applied as part of this new global investment, including:
- Engaging public-private sector partners to work together toward a shared goal.
- Using data-driven solutions to develop new interventions and education strategy.
- Introducing new policies that plan for, and scale, successful programming at the outset to ensure sustainability over the long term.
To further these goals, and the firm’s new skills investments, JPMorgan Chase’s PolicyCenter will develop and advance sustainable, evidence-based education and skills policies to drive inclusive economic growth in the U.S. and around the world. Applying these proven lessons from past skills investments along with policy enhancements, JPMorgan Chase will advance the following recommendations to prepare students for good careers and economic mobility:
- Scaling high-quality integrated career pathways with state support: Fostering state policy environments that seed and support high-quality local career pathways, so that innovation and implementation are replicated and scaled at the state level.
- Creating seamless connections from high school to post-secondary to career: Connections between high school, higher education, and good jobs should become seamless by developing educational pathways that offer students early postsecondary experiences and lead to credentials aligned with high-skill, high-wage, and in-demand careers.
- Expanding access to work-based learning experiences: Improving access to good jobs by connecting students to real work experiences in industries fueling future economic growth, such as technology and health care.
- Ensuring access and opportunity for all: Removing barriers to meaningful career opportunities for historically disadvantaged populations, and supporting effective transitions from school to work, by aligning equitable policy and practice to scale proven career pathways programs that ensure equity and access.
- Leveraging employer partnerships: Engaging employers at the state and local level in the design, implementation, evaluation, and modification of integrated high-quality career pathways as part of the broader state or local economic development strategy.
“To create an education system that truly helps young people become ‘career ready,’ employers must be at the table — and not just to give advice,” said Mary Alice McCarthy, Director, Center on Education and Skills at New America. “High school and college students need access to meaningful work experiences, mentors, and professional networks, none of which schools can provide on their own. Preparing young people for the future is a shared responsibility that must be built on the types of committed, long-term, public-private partnerships that JPMorgan Chase is supporting in communities across the country.”
$7 Million for Career Pathways in Denver
Denver is an example of a career pathways program that works. Over the past four years, with a previous philanthropic investment of $4 million from JPMorgan Chase, Denver educators and community partners have been on the leading edge of innovation in developing impactful career pathways. For example, the odds of on-time graduation for at-risk Denver Public Schools (DPS) students increased by 40 percent for students who participated in two to five DPS CareerConnect courses or in immersive work-based summer learning, and the odds of graduation increased by 90 percent for those who participated in over five DPS CareerConnect courses.
“Young people who participate in career pathways, including real work experiences and higher education connections, have better overall outcomes in education and the labor marketplace,” said Sarah Steinberg, Vice President of Global Philanthropy for JPMorgan Chase. “We look forward to applying our lessons learned across the globe to give young people a better chance at career success.”
10 New Investments
Denver, CO, and the nine other sites, which have been selected and will be announced in the coming months, are formulating new partnerships between local school systems, higher education, employers, and government entities, in the U.S. and around the world, to improve student completion of high-quality career pathways. In the U.S., a network of six cities and their states will be supported by two partners:
- Advance CTE, the longest standing national non-profit that represents state Career Technical Education (CTE) Directors and state leaders of CTE, will leverage a $5 million philanthropic investment from JPMorgan Chase to provide research and resources that support sites to meet the objectives of the initiative and translate lessons from the sites into tools and resources that can be leveraged by a broader set of communities.
- Education Strategy Group, a mission-driven consulting firm focused on strategies to help all learners earn a postsecondary credential that has value in the labor market, will leverage a $6 million philanthropic investment from JPMorgan Chase to support sites with high-quality technical assistance and cross-site learning and convening.
JPMorgan Chase’s History of Investing in Youth Careers and Skills Training
Five years ago, JPMorgan Chase invested $75 million through New Skills for Youth to support states and regions to dramatically increase the number of young people completing high-quality career pathways that start in high school and culminate in credentials that have value in the labor market by transforming the design and delivery of career-focused education. These communities developed and scaled innovative educational programs that helped tens of thousands of students in eight countries, 10 states, and more than 20 cities gain the education, skills, and credentials they need to compete for well-paying jobs.
As part of this new investment, JPMorgan Chase will also leverage the skills and expertise of our employees to provide young people with mentoring and real-world work experiences, building on a 10 year history of engaging more than 2,000 employees every year to prepare young adults for college and career success. Existing programs such as The Fellowship Initiative, Advancing Young Professionals, and the Schools Challenge are engaging JPMorgan Chase employees as student mentors. Apprenticeship programs in London and Bournemouth offer students in their last year of high school or in college a comprehensive introduction to the world of financial services and the chance to earn industry-recognized qualifications.