How to better prepare people in the U.S. for well-paid, sustainable careers

Axios Studio
·3 min read

There is a significant racial gap in the U.S., and COVID-19 exacerbated inequities

Why it’s important: The widening racial wealth gap and reduced buying power for Black and Latinx people cost the U.S. economy about $2.3 trillion per year, according to a National Equity Atlas report.

To address this, JPMorgan Chase is investing in jobs and skills programs as part of its work to advance racial equity, including the company’s $30 billion firmwide commitment across the business.

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“An inclusive economy – in which more people are participating and benefiting from the growth of that economy – is better for everyone.”

- Jennie Sparandara, JPMorgan Chase’s head of skills programs for corporate responsibility.

JPMorgan Chase is focusing on:

  1. Strengthening the pipeline and creating high-quality career pathways.

The challenge: The perception that any sustainable, well-paying jobs require a bachelor’s degree or higher.

  • University students in the U.S. today are 61% white, 18% Hispanic, 12% Black and 6% Asian.

In practice, many roles may not need a bachelor’s degree.

  • The company is committed to increasing diversity firmwide: 75% of JPMorgan Chase roles don’t necessarily require a 4-year degree.

  • JPMorgan Chase’s Emerging Talent Programs give more people access to education and real-world work experiences.

  • For example, high schoolers received on-the-job experience through the CareerWise NY Apprenticeship. The first cohort of apprentices was 50% Latinx and 34% Black.

JPMorgan Chase is expanding The Fellowship Initiative (TFI) to help more than 1,000 Black and Latinx young men prepare for college and careers.

  • TFI has driven a 100% high school graduation and college acceptance rate over the past decade, among graduating Fellows.

  • Here’s how: The three-year program matches Fellows with JPMorgan Chase employees for coaching, academic support and leadership development.

Additionally, JPMorgan Chase is introducing a program to upskill and reskill employees globally, helping them prepare for long-term success.

  1. Supporting more inclusive talent practices.

The challenge: Past criminal records can be significant barriers to employment.

JPMorgan Chase is helping clear pathways to a second chance for people with criminal backgrounds, supporting skills development and access to employment by:

  • Advocating federal and state policy change to reduce barriers to employment.

  • Removing questions about criminal backgrounds from initial job applications at JPMorgan Chase.

  • Making community investments to support people with criminal backgrounds.

JPMorgan Chase is working with partners who understand the specific needs of their communities.

  • Providing nonprofit Apprenti with a $2.75M philanthropic investment to help scale, delivering more historically underrepresented tech talent to 100 employers in 18 states, including 19 software engineering apprentices at JPMorgan Chase now.

  • Partnering with HBCUs on curriculum development, scholarship and mentorship programs to increase the pipeline of Black students entering the financial planning profession.

  • Working with anti-racist youth workforce development nonprofit LeadersUp to develop new skills trainings.

“The partnership helped JPMorgan Chase operationalize this anti-racist practice of local hiring, as it relates to ensuring equitable access to opportunity is at the core of economic development."

  • CEO of LeadersUp Jeffery Wallace

Read more.

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