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JPMorgan Chase Announces $4 Million to Prepare Detroit Students for High-Demand Jobs

Grant to United Way for Southeastern Michigan will expand economic opportunity for the city’s young people by aligning education with career pathways in growing sectors

Submitted by: JPMorgan Chase & Co.

Categories: Socially Responsible Investing, Corporate Social Responsibility

Posted: Jun 01, 2016 – 09:00 AM EST


DETROIT, Jun. 01 /CSRwire/ - JPMorgan Chase & Co. today announced $4 million to expand young people’s access to economic opportunity in Detroit. Building on the firm’s $100 million commitment to Detroit’s economic recovery, this three-year grant is designed to increase dramatically the number of young people graduating from the city’s high schools with opportunities to secure well-paying, high-demand jobs. JPMorgan Chase joins the Skillman Foundation, the Ford Foundation and the Ford Motor Company Fund in this initiative to connect 10,000 Detroit high school students to career education and work experiences over the next three years.

“We are excited about expanding career-focused educational programs that give Detroit’s young people opportunities to access career pathways in the city’s expanding sectors,” said Chauncy Lennon, Head of Workforce Initiatives, JPMorgan Chase. “Building off a model proven in other communities, the collaborative approach being taken by the city to solve tough issues is reflected in their commitment to work with civic, business and education leaders to better align education with the skills that growing business sectors need.”

“As Detroit’s turnaround continues, we need to make sure our young people are prepared with the education and skills to take advantage of opportunities,” said Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan. “JPMorgan Chase’s investment will help better prepare high school graduates for careers in Detroit’s economic recovery.”

JPMorgan Chase’s grant will support work by United Way for Southeastern Michigan to strengthen college and career pathways for students at twenty Detroit high schools. Specifically, by expanding its Linked Learning initiative and growing its capacity to work closely with employers, United Way will work in coordination with more principals, teachers and business leaders to align career-oriented education programs – including curriculum and work-based learning – with high-demand sectors in Detroit.

“This JPMorgan Chase grant will be used to expand upon the success of our high school work over the past five years,” says Herman Gray, President and CEO, United Way for Southeastern Michigan. “We are grateful for this funding to help continue our efforts and enhance our impact throughout Detroit through the Linked Learning initiative, which will help build a strong foundation for student success in college, career and life.”

Over the next three years, the grant will help 10,000 young people in Detroit earn credentials, qualifying them for career pathways and college, by focusing on several important and growing regional industries, including advanced manufacturing, health care, information technology, digital communications, engineering and public service.

Schools that are adopting a career-oriented approach using Linked Learning in Detroit include the Ben Carson High School of Science and Medicine, Westside Academy, Cody Academy of Medicine and Community Health, Cody Academy of Public Leadership, Cody Academy of Information Technology, Osborn Academy of Math, Science and Technology, Osborn Evergreen Academy of Design and Alternative, Detroit Edison Public School Academy, Mumford, Central High School and Henry Ford High School.

“When I was appointed earlier this year, I announced that one of my key areas of focus would be innovations in learning, or how we do school differently,” said Detroit Public School Interim Superintendent Alycia Meriweather. “The resources being provided to our students thanks to this grant from JPMorgan Chase will allow us to design non-traditional programs that have a strong real-life experience component. When students are able to apply what they have learned, their ability to demonstrate understanding increases and there is a much better chance of them remembering what they have learned. This grant will provide the additional support for our instructors that helps learning come alive for students. I want to express sincere gratitude to JPMorgan Chase for choosing to invest wisely in Detroit Public Schools.”

“We are pleased that our catalytic commitment to expand Linked Learning and strengthen its connection to employers throughout Detroit is building upon and in partnership with the ongoing support and initial investments seeded by the Ford Foundation and the Skillman Foundation," added Lennon, JPMorgan Chase.

Detroit has the highest youth unemployment rate (30 percent) amongst the 25 largest U.S. metro areas. About 15 percent of young people are neither working nor in school, but that disconnection is more than twice as high (33 percent) in Detroit’s lower-income African-American neighborhoods. About one in four African American young people in Detroit is neither working nor in school, compared to 13 percent of whites and about one in five Latinos (19 percent).

“We have a strong partnership with United Way helping prepare students in Detroit for trade apprenticeships to obtain meaningful skills and gainful employment,” says Rick Blocker, President, Metropolitan Detroit AFL-CIO. “United Way’s Linked Learning effort will allow us to expose a new generation to the construction trades and help develop a skilled workforce, which benefits the city as a whole.”

“For Detroit's recovery to be sustainable and inclusive of all Detroiters, we must invest in opportunities specifically for our youth,” said Sharlonda Buckman, CEO, Detroit Parent Network. “Strengthening and aligning their education experience to specific career pathways that inspire them and recognize their preparedness as future employees and entrepreneurs is a smart economic development strategy and the right thing to do. As parents fight to encourage their children to stay in school in hopes that they have a brighter future, it's an uphill battle without access and opportunity that our youth can see. With support from JPMorgan Chase, the Linked Learning approach is an opportunity to affirm parents’ resolve to push and support their youth and the relevance of their education experience.”

In January, JPMorgan Chase launched New Skills for Youth, a $75 million, five-year initiative to strengthen career and technical education and create pathways to economic success. This initiative takes two approaches to increasing economic opportunity for young people.

  • First, JPMorgan Chase and Council of Chief State School Officers launched a competition amongst U.S. states that are seeking to expand and improve their career education systems. As part of this competition, select states received a $100,000 grant for planning and early implementation of long-term career readiness education programs that align with the needs of area employers. These states now compete to be among 10 states that will receive up to $2 million this fall to implement their plans to reform demand-driven career and technical education programs.

  • Second, JPMorgan Chase is investing in programs around the world, including this $4 million grant in Detroit, that are developing new and effective models of high quality career-focused education. In 2016, the firm will be announcing additional grants for career and technical programs in U.S. cities. The goal is to increase the number of students, especially low-income young people, who earn meaningful postsecondary and workforce credentials that are aligned with the needs of emerging industries.

“Any collaboration that is geared toward improving the success of Detroit’s youth will have a positive and lasting impact,” states Dr. Reginald Eadie, CEO of DMC Detroit Receiving Hospital, Harper-Hutzel Hospital and Chair, Board of Directors for Ben Carson High School. “Through these private and public partnerships, we develop young talent that bring fresh perspectives and new ideas to the next workforce generation.”

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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

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