Seeing the problems in our education system in preparing students for today’s jobs, JPMorgan Chase & Co. Chairman and CEO Jamie Dimon has made addressing them a major focus of his company’s philanthropic efforts.
“When I say out loud, ‘50% of inner-city school kids do not graduate high school,’ that is a national catastrophe. We should be ringing the alarm bells. It’s not fair,” Dimon told Business Insider in an interview Tuesday.
Dimon went on to say that business and civic society have to work together to address the high unemployment rate among youth in inner cities.
“We have done a terrible job training our kids at high school, at vocational school, community school, or even college, to get out with a job,” Dimon reportedly said at an event last week.
To help lead the charge in addressing this youth career crisis, Dimon’s bank is investing $75 million into a New Skills for Youth initiative — $20 million of which being granted to 10 U.S. states that are implementing long-term career readiness education programs that align with the needs of area employers. Last week, Dimon announced $6 million will go toward an initiative to connect career and technical education (CTE) schools in the South Bronx to employers in New York City.
The money in the South Bronx program will go towards securing the necessary education and training to secure middle skill jobs in three growing industries: transportation, distribution and logistics, healthcare, and information technology; building a new apprenticeship model; and support the development of a high quality data system to measure and track the expansion of services and opportunities for work based learning, internships and community based efforts that match young people to career pathways.