Support Social Responsibility
What JPMorgan Chase is doing to close the skills gap
The following article was written by Jamie Dimon, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of JPMorgan Chase. It was originally published on LinkedIn.
The path to a successful future begins at a young age. But economic opportunity is increasingly out of reach for millions of young people. In fact, 71% of today's youth (ages 17 to 24) are ineligible for the military due to a lack of proper education (basic reading or writing skills) or health issues (often obesity or diabetes). Without the right skills or education, they find themselves stuck in low-skill, low-wage jobs or are unemployed.
It's a moral and economic crisis that too many young people leave high school without clear pathways to a successful future. We must make it a national priority to help prepare young people to be both personally and professionally successful—especially those who are traditionally overlooked.
In many inner city schools, fewer than 60% of students graduate, and many of those who do graduate are not prepared for employment. We are creating generations of citizens who will never have a chance.
Unfortunately, it's self-perpetuating, and we all pay the price. The subpar academic outcomes of America's minority and low-income children resulted in yearly GDP losses of trillions of dollars, according to McKinsey & Company.
Getting young people on a pathway to brighter futures in high school and beyond will help them achieve long-term economic success and ultimately positively impact the economic trajectory of the entire country.
JPMorgan Chase is investing more than $350 million in skills development around the world. This includes New Skills for Youth, a $75 million, five-year effort 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. We are also investing in summer youth employment programs that provide young people with meaningful, skills-based summer work.
And we announced in June that we're expanding The Fellowship Initiative, which helps create economic opportunity for young men of color in New York City, Chicago, Los Angeles and now Dallas. Through the right combination of intensive academic, mentoring and leadership training, we are preparing them to take advantage of critical opportunities to get ahead.
This year, 117 young men completed The Fellowship Initiative and 100 percent of them graduated from high school. Combined, they have been accepted into more than 200 colleges and universities across the United States.
While not every business can make this kind of commitment, they can promote other efforts that create economic opportunity. This includes continued on-the-job training and education and create apprenticeships for future workers. They can also encourage partnerships with schools to ensure skills are aligned with employment needs. These investments are good for the long-term vitality of the communities we serve and create pathways to success for their employees and families.
We at JPMorgan Chase are creating bridges between businesses and communities to support an economy that creates opportunity for future generations. By encouraging business, government and nonprofits to work closely together, we can continue to produce position outcomes and drive entire communities forward.
You can read more about our approach to bridging the skills gap here.
Jamie Dimon is the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of JPMorgan Chase.