JPMorgan Chase Pledges $75 Million to Close Youth Skills Gap

JPMorgan ChaseJPMorgan Chase has pledged $75 million to launch their new initiative. Its goal is to close the youth skills gap.

The initiative, New Skills for Youth, aims to address youth unemployment through skills training. The program plans to increase the number of graduates who have the necessary skills that high paying jobs demand.

To accomplish this, New Skills for Youth will gather leaders from government, business and education to implement an improved pathway to employment for schoolchildren. JPMorgan Chase will focus on two areas to improve career-focused education, with one being the local states.

JPMorgan Chase, along with the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) and the National Association of State Directors of Career Technical Education Consortium, will launch a competition among U.S. states to improve local career education systems.

The goal of the competition is the improvement of career-focused education that ensures a pathway to high skill, high wage jobs. To do this, states will convene local business, education and community leaders to determine the best way to improve preparation for and access to these jobs.

The CCSSO will collect a group of experts to review applications and select winners. With grant funding from JPMorgan Chase, the CCSSO will award $100,000 grants to 20-25 states for early implementation of career readiness programs that align with local skills gaps.

Later in the year, the CCSSO will award the best 10 states with additional funding to fully implement and assess their career-focused education. Each of the 10 states will be allotted close to $2 million over three years.

The competition will force states to create the best methods of closing the skills gaps in their areas. Also, students will receive an improved education that provides access to high wage jobs in demand.

The other focus of the two-pronged initiative is global innovation. New Skills for Youth will invest in schools around the world that are implementing new and effective models of career education.

The aim of the investment is to increase the number of young and low-income students who earn prudent post-secondary degrees and technical certifications. The initiative believes the best programs will be the ones that are aligned with emerging industries.

Many of the emerging industries are struggling to fill well-paid jobs. If students gain the necessary skills, those 21st century jobs could be theirs.

JPMorgan Chase plans to document the results of the New Skills for Youth initiative to help educators and policymakers determine the best approaches for closing the skills gaps.

This is an issue that is in desperate need of being addressed.

According to the International Labour Organization, almost 73 million youth worldwide are seeking employment. They are three times more likely to be unemployed than adults.

Through JPMorgan Chase’s New Skills for Youth, youth around the world will have a better chance of attaining the skills needed to find meaningful employment.

Echoing this sentiment, the CEO of JPMorgan Chase, Jaime Dimon, said to the website Businesswire.com, “We are investing in high-quality career-focused education programs so that more young people have a shot at real economic opportunity.”

Andrew Wildes

Sources: Business Wire, ILO
Photo: Just Means