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JPMorgan Chase & Co. today announced it is committing $15 million toward workforce readiness and demand-driven training in Chicago, as part of its unprecedented five-year, $250 million global New Skills at Work initiative. Launched last week, New Skills at Work is the largest ever private-sector effort aimed at addressing the “skills gap” that exists across many industries, such as healthcare and advanced manufacturing, where not enough trained workers have the specific skills to fill the jobs available. New Skills at Work will build upon successful programs around the country, like the College to Careers program underway across the City Colleges of Chicago.
Unemployment in Chicago is at nearly 10%, and yet over 100,000 jobs remain unfilled. According to an IMF analysis, the skills gap accounts for approximately one-third of the U.S. unemployment rate. Using research and data analysis, public-private partnerships and engagement with local leaders and organizations, New Skills at Work will accelerate economic growth by supporting training programs that will have the greatest impact.
“We have long supported the skills training and development work of high-impact organizations throughout the Chicago area,” said Glenn Tilton, Chairman of the Midwest, JPMorgan Chase. “And we are pleased to make Chicago one of the inaugural cities of New Skills at Work, which aims to train people for the jobs that are available – today and tomorrow. Our data-driven approach will better equip organizations to serve the community and help people get the skills they need to succeed. Mayor Emanuel has been a national leader in skills training and we are looking forward to working together to help more people get jobs.” In addition to his role with JPMorgan Chase, Tilton is a co-chair of the Plan for Economic Growth & Jobs at World Business Chicago and the board chair for Skills for Chicagoland’s Future.