JPMorgan Chase on Friday announced a new $20 million, five-year philanthropic commitment to support summer youth employment programs (SYEPs) in Baltimore, the District of Columbia and 22 other U.S. markets.
Building on the success and lessons learned from the firm’s previous Summer Youth commitments, this commitment will continue to help young people, particularly those from under-resourced communities, enter the workforce and gain meaningful experience that will lead to quality career pathways.
The commitment includes a continued focus on skills development and quality job placements, as well as supporting and testing virtual models, to engage young people and better prepare them for the future of work. The commitment will also prioritize employer engagement to develop strong partnerships, expanded work opportunities, and high-quality work-based learning and mentorships, in addition to integrating existing work into local public workforce and education systems to drive long-term change and support.
Unemployment rates among youth age 16 to 24 were exacerbated during the pandemic, which saw the lowest levels of youth summer employment since the Great Recession. Youth age 16 to 24 in lower-income families were disproportionately affected by these disparities. As work experience and education has become more valuable, the pathway to a good job has become more challenging for young adults, particularly those from underrepresented communities.
According to new research from Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce, to secure a good job, young adults need to acquire high-quality work experience and more education than was necessary for previous generations. Unequal access to high-quality work experience through work-based learning programs and youth employment further contributes to gaps in good jobs.
Friday’s announcement aligns with the firm’s broader commitments to preparing people for the future of work, and closing the racial wealth gap.
In 2019, the firm announced its $350 million, global commitment to preparing people for the future of work through skills development, mentorship and training and expanding access to economic opportunity. Through its $75 million, global career readiness initiative and existing mentorship programs like The Fellowship Initiative, the firm has demonstrated its commitment to supporting young people to access promising and fruitful economic futures.
These commitments are all part of the firm’s $30 billion, five-year commitment to increase economic opportunities for underserved communities, especially Black, Hispanic and Latino communities, and to drive an inclusive economic recovery.