JPMorgan Chase Invests $6 Million for Tech Training D.C. Area's Black Students - Black Enterprise
Black Enterprise Magazine September/October 2018 Issue

Black and minority students at five school districts in the Washington, D.C. region will be beneficiaries of a $6 million commitment by JPMorgan Chase to help train and equip youth to land well-paying tech jobs.

The money is coming from the banking giant’s “New Skills for Youth” program. It will support the development of new educational initiatives at Baltimore City Public Schools, DC Public Schools, Montgomery County Public Schools, Prince George’s County Public Schools, and Fairfax County Public Schools in partnership with Northern Virginia Community College.

The donation is part of a $350 million companywide investment by the New York-based company and nation’s largest bank in jobs and skills development globally.

The effort comes as more firms add tech jobs in the nation’s capital region. The growth is building higher demand for skilled IT workers and a need to fill the jobs. Take Amazon.

Last month the world’s largest online retailer picked New York City and Arlington, Virginia, for its second headquarters. The two areas will each get 25,000 lucrative tech jobs that Amazon is projected to bring.

While schools offer IT coursework, these courses are not always aligned with the skills, credentials, and work experiences employers demand, the bank reported. In 2017, only 3,000 individuals in the region obtained associate degrees and other sub-BA credentials in digital skills and technology but over 15,000 jobs needed those credentials. Demand for tech workers with less than a 4-year degree increased by 42% in the region between 2014 and 2017.

“We have a responsibility to build a better future for the region’s young people,” stated Jamie Dimon, chairman and CEO at JPMorgan Chase. “This investment is a good example of how the public and private sectors can work together to create the opportunity for more people and grow the local economy so that everyone benefits.”

The JPMorgan Chase philanthropic investment will help to launch 16 new and revised high-quality, demand-driven IT career pathways for thousands of area students in high school through college.

This initiative aims to:

  • Help more young people in the region, particularly underrepresented populations, achieving career and economic success, with 3,200 more students participating in career pathway programs that connect with careers in fields including computer science and cybersecurity.
  • Employers providing 2,200 internships for students in IT career pathways.
  • A new system that enables educators to use regional labor market data on an ongoing basis to ensure that career pathways are aligned with employer demand.

“We need to make it clear to young people—from Anacostia, Prince George’s County to Baltimore and Virginia—that they have a future in this region—and we are working together to do just that,” stated Peter Scher, head of Corporate Responsibility and chair of the Mid-Atlantic Region, JPMorgan Chase.

“Amazon’s HQ2 announcement reinforced that companies around the globe are competing for talent, and through this investment, we are working with our partners in the public and private sectors to expand access to opportunity for young people in Greater Washington—and boost the workforce by directly aligning education and training programs with the skills needed for open technology roles here.”

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Jeffrey McKinney

Jeffrey McKinney is a long-time freelance business writer and reporter, contributing to Black Enterprise magazine for several years on broad range of business and financial topics. He also writes regularly for Franchise Times, a highly regarded publication covering the franchise industry.


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