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JPMorgan Chase and Bloomberg Philanthropies Announce $7.5 Million to Prepare New Orleans Students for High-Demand Jobs

JPMorgan Chase

Grants to YouthForce NOLA will expand economic opportunity for the city’s young people by aligning education with career pathways in growing sectors

NEW ORLEANS – JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Bloomberg Philanthropies today announced $7.5 million to expand young people’s access to economic opportunity in New Orleans. As growing industries in Greater New Orleans require a more skilled workforce, these grants are designed to dramatically increase the number of young people graduating from the city’s public high schools with opportunities to secure well-paying, high-demand jobs.

“It’s a moral and economic crisis that too many young people graduate from high school without being on a pathway to a well-paying job,” said Jamie Dimon, Chairman and CEO, JPMorgan Chase. “We can’t just ring the alarm bells about this problem – the private and public sectors need to work together, as we are doing in New Orleans and in other cities, to set more young people on a path to careers and financial success. Our support of YouthForce will go a long way to creating greater economic opportunity in New Orleans.”

“If we hope to expand opportunity and the middle class, we have to start giving students who aren’t college bound the skills they need to land good jobs that hold room for advancement,” said Michael Bloomberg, Founder of Bloomberg LP and Bloomberg Philanthropies. “The disconnect between growing industries and schools is leaving too many young people behind — and leaving many businesses struggling to find qualified employees. More cities are now rethinking vocational and technical education, and public-private partnerships like YouthForce NOLA are helping to lead the way. We believe this program holds great promise – and if it succeeds, it could become a model for the nation.”

The grants from JPMorgan Chase and Bloomberg Philanthropies will support YouthForce NOLA, a collaborative of community and education leaders working to help the city’s public high schools redesign their career and technical education programming. This collaborative is offering coursework, credentials and work-based learning experiences to students that put them on a pathway to developing the skills and knowledge to pursue well-paying jobs in high-demand fields. JPMorgan Chase and Bloomberg Philanthropies are providing $2.5 million and $5 million in grants, respectively.

“These investments are a critical element in preparing and training the people of New Orleans for career pathways,” said New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu. “We look forward to a continued partnership with JPMorgan Chase and Bloomberg to ensure that our young people and adults benefit from the city’s remarkable economic growth.”

Specifically, over the next five years, these grants will allow Youthforce NOLA to help 1,600 students earn credentials qualifying them for career pathways and place 1,200 students in paid internships in three regional industries:

  • Skilled Crafts, including advanced manufacturing, environmental, energy, trade and logistics
  • Health Science, including biosciences and healthcare
  • Technology, including digital media, software development and information technology

With nearly one in five young people in Greater New Orleans neither working nor in school, the region is home to the third largest population of disconnected youth in the United States. Nearly 40 percent of New Orleans’ children live in poverty and few students have exposure to good-paying, high-demand careers. At the same time, the growth of middle-skill jobs in the region’s expanding industries increases the importance of investing in education and training. Across Greater New Orleans, there are expected to be more than 67,000 skilled workers – people with more than a high school degree but less than a bachelor’s degree – needed in skilled crafts, health science and technology industries by 2024, opening up opportunities for young people to obtain well-paying jobs in these industries.

Notable Statements of Support

“The state continues to develop important policies to support career and technical education,” said Louisiana State Superintendent of Education Secretary John White. “JPMorgan Chase and Bloomberg’s investments in the future of New Orleans’ young people send a strong signal to the rest of the state about the importance of aligning education and career pathways.”

YouthForce NOLA complements the Louisiana Jumpstart initiative, which is a statewide vision to increase post-secondary graduation rates by aligning education with career pathways in state and regional industries.

“YouthForce NOLA represents a deep belief in the talent of New Orleans’ public school students and the need to connect them with the regional high-wage career opportunities that exist today,” said Leslie Jacobs, Founder of Educate Now!, the convener of the YouthForce NOLA collaboration. “Each of the twelve organizations that comprise our cross-sector partnership is committed to equipping our young people with the real-world skills needed for their real-life success. We are grateful for this commitment from JPMorgan Chase and Bloomberg Philanthropies to create more economic opportunity in New Orleans.”

“It is encouraging that JPMorgan Chase and Bloomberg recognize the innovation happening in New Orleans every day,” said Erika McConduit-Diggs, President and CEO, Urban League of Greater New Orleans. “We appreciate their investment and we are proud to be part of the Youthforce NOLA collaborative. Together, we are working to redefine success whereby a high school education has the opportunity to lead to a well paying job in a growing industry.”

“Our nation’s continued success as a leading innovator in the global economy depends on a 21st century education, beginning with a strong foundation in science, technology, and computer sciences,” said Congressman Steve Scalise. “I commend JPMorgan Chase and Bloomberg for providing our young people here in New Orleans with the resources they need to develop these critical skills. Together, we are arming future generations of American leaders with the tools they need to grow a healthy economy that will continue to set the global standard in thinking and innovation.”

“I applaud JPMorgan Chase and Bloomberg for their commitment to the education and skills development of our city’s youth,” said Congressman Cedric Richmond. “The best way to improve opportunities for our youth is to make meaningful investments in their future.”

 Programs to Strengthen Career and Technical Education

In January, JPMorgan Chase launched New Skills for Youth, a $75 million, five-year initiative to strengthen career and technical education and create pathways to economic success. This initiative takes two approaches to increasing economic opportunity for young people.

  • First, JPMorgan Chase and Council of State School Officers Consortium launched a competition amongst U.S. states that are seeking to expand and improve their career education systems. As part of this competition, in April, Louisiana received a $100,000 grant for planning and early implementation of long-term career readiness education programs that align with the needs of area employers. The state is now competing to be among 10 states that will receive up to $2 million this fall to implement their plans to reform demand-driven career and technical education programs.
  • Second, JPMorgan Chase is investing in programs around the world, including this $2.5 million grant in New Orleans, that are developing new and effective models of high quality career-focused education. In 2016, the firm will be announcing additional grants for career and technical programs in U.S. cities. The goal is to increase the number of students, especially low-income young people, who earn meaningful postsecondary and workforce credentials that are aligned with the needs of emerging industries.

Bloomberg Philanthropies is investing in a series of new, innovative career and technical education pilots around the country. All pilots feature strong local leadership and robust partnership across education, industry, government and non-profit sectors. The goal is to create a clear, comprehensive evidence base and increased capacity to replicate at scale the best of what works.

About JPMorgan Chase & Co.
JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM) is a leading global financial services firm with assets of $2.4 trillion and operations worldwide. The Firm is a leader in investment banking, financial services for consumers and small businesses, commercial banking, financial transaction processing, and asset management. A component of the Dow Jones Industrial Average, JPMorgan Chase & Co. serves millions of consumers in the United States and many of the world’s most prominent corporate, institutional and government clients under its J.P. Morgan and Chase brands. The firm uses its global resources, expertise, insights and scale to address some of the most urgent challenges facing communities around the world including the need for increased economic opportunity. Information about JPMorgan Chase & Co. is available at

About Bloomberg Philanthropies
Bloomberg Philanthropies works in more than 120 countries around the world to ensure better, longer lives for the greatest number of people. The organization focuses on five key areas for creating lasting change: Arts, Education, Environment, Government Innovation and Public Health. Bloomberg Philanthropies encompasses all of Michael R. Bloomberg’s charitable activities, including his foundation and his personal giving. In 2015, Bloomberg Philanthropies distributed over half a billion dollars. For more information, please visit or follow us on Facebook, InstagramSnapchat, and Twitter @BloombergDotOrg.

Media Contact:
JPMorgan Chase
Steve O’Halloran, 302282-5699

Bloomberg Philanthropies
Rebecca Carriero, 212-205-0182