As part of JPMorgan Chase’s $75 million global initiative, Indianapolis is one of 10 global cities to receive career readiness philanthropic investments
Cities will leverage innovative new practices and policy solutions to expand access to real-world work experience, higher education and good careers for underserved young people
October 20, 2020 – Indianapolis, IN— JPMorgan Chase today announced Indianapolis as one of six U.S. cities to receive career readiness investments as part of the firm’s $75 million global commitment to better prepare young people for the jobs of today and tomorrow. These five-year philanthropic investments and policy solutions are part of the firm’s New Skills at Work initiative to prepare young people for the future of work and the new $30 billion commitment to advance racial equity and drive an inclusive economic recovery.
With a $7 million commitment in Indianapolis, JPMorgan Chase’s New Skills Ready Network 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.
Education and workforce leaders in Indianapolis recognize that there is much to be done to ensure that all students are enrolled in pathways that start in high school and continue through postsecondary, lead to high-demand, high-wage jobs, embed opportunities for work-based learning and postsecondary credit, and culminate in credentials with labor market currency. EmployIndy will lead local and state partners as part of the Indianapolis New Skills Ready Network to develop and implement those pathways and support students – especially those underrepresented in jobs that provide a family sustaining wage – to help ensure they persist in and complete those pathways to earn a credential with labor market value.
This $7 million investment brings together partners including Indianapolis Public Schools (IPS), Ivy Tech Community College Central Indiana, Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI), Ascend Indiana, and the Indiana Governor’s Workforce Cabinet to create systems that launch learners into good jobs in the region.
“A skilled workforce and an inclusive recovery are key to Indianapolis’ growth,” said Jim Macdonald, Market Manager for Indiana and Kentucky, J.P. Morgan Private Bank. “Unfortunately, too many young people, especially underrepresented and disadvantaged students, are entering the workforce without the skills, resources and real-world experiences they need. Partnership between educators, community partners and business are critical to helping provide all students with access to opportunity they need to succeed. This investment helps prepare Indianapolis students for a more prosperous future.”
$7 Million for Career Pathways in Indianapolis
The firm is making an added investment in Indianapolis’ young people through support of robust infrastructure created by EmployIndy for work-based learning systems throughout the region’s workforce development ecosystem. The latest investment builds on a $1 million philanthropic commitment the firm made in 2019 to EmployIndy and IPS for the launch of career academics at its four high schools, allowing students to take skill-focused courses designed to prepare them for college or the workforce.
“Recent local and statewide studies have shown that more than half of the net new jobs created will require a postsecondary credential for entry-level positions. To bridge this gap for the future, EmployIndy is working with key local education systems to drive systemic transformation to ensure quality career pathways, real-world experiences, and seamless transition to postsecondary education, while closing the equity gap for students,” said Angela Carr Klitzsch, EmployIndy president & CEO.
The vision is to expand and reinvent accessible career pathways for all IPS students and to advance this pilot to influence a career readiness framework and policy that can be implemented statewide. Career academies at IPS offer distinct pathways and programs that align to regional in-demand career opportunities to help ensure academic preparedness of students for postsecondary opportunities or employment.
“This partnership will support our effort to ensure all career academy pathways at IPS are high quality and that students have the support they need to succeed. It also will increase the number of district teachers who are credentialed and trained to teach college-level coursework,” said Aleesia Johnson, IPS superintendent. “It’s partnerships like this that help Indianapolis Public Schools shatter the barriers that act as roadblocks for students throughout our district.”
10 New Investments
Indianapolis, and the nine other global sites, 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 CTE Directors and state leaders of Career Technical Education (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 post-secondary 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.
“These funds provide us with the ability to invest in our students and in the future of our city,” said Mayor Joe Hogsett, City of Indianapolis. “Establishing high-quality career pathways allows for residents to advance into growing industries and secure promising jobs.”
A Global Challenge
According to a recent global survey, one in six youth stopped working since the outbreak of COVID, with young workers age 18 to 24 more likely to lose their jobs. The same survey found that one in eight young students were left without any access to education or training.
Even before the pandemic, rapid changes in technology, automation, and artificial intelligence continued to shape the economy and exacerbate the disconnect between skills and jobs, setting young people further behind. Cities are adjusting to better prepare their students for an ever-evolving labor market, including elevating the importance of connecting credentials and work experiences to the jobs that will fuel economic recovery post-COVID.
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.
As a result, the firm zeroed in on three lessons learned from past successful efforts that are being applied as part of this 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 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 announced in February 2020 that it will develop and advance critical policy recommendations to prepare students for good careers and economic mobility.