Naomi Camper, Head of Nonprofit Engagement for JPMorgan Chase, writes on our Commitment to America Saves

July 22, 2014 – Beginning a new job can be an exciting yet overwhelming experience, particularly for first-time workers. New names and faces, a series of responsibilities, and high expectations swirl those first few days and weeks on the job. It is important to ensure that first-time workers receive the support and guidance they need to succeed professionally and personally, both inside and outside of the workplace.

Last summer, almost 20 million youth enrolled in summer employment program. With that first paycheck comes an immense opportunity to access high-quality financial products, establish good financial habits, and start building a secure future.

At JPMorgan Chase, we believe that in order to achieve a financially secure future, workers need access to the tools and resources that empower them to turn knowledge into action. The Consumer Federation of America’s America Saves campaign is a great example of using the first paycheck as a teachable moment to create strong financial behaviors. By setting up direct deposits, creating savings goals, and reinforcing savings habits through timely information at their first job, the First-Time Workers Program helps young workers establish a strong financial foundation from day one. Given the success of the program to promote savings and build strong financial habits, we are committing $185,000 to expand the program to additional markets and partners, update the virtual education tools, and improve the evaluation systems to track participant behavior. When more individuals and families are financially capable and secure, communities flourish and economies strengthen. 

It is for this same reason that we are committed to preparing today's youth for the demands of the current and future workforce. At JPMorgan Chase, we are currently working with mayors, nonprofit organizations, and employers in 14 cities nationwide – Chicago, Dallas, Detroit, Jacksonville, Jersey City, Los Angeles, Louisville, Miami, Milwaukee, New York City, Oakland, San Francisco, Seattle, and St. Louis – to provide employment to more than 4,000 young people and work-related learning opportunities to more than 22,000 at-risk youth over the next two years. Our goal is to help young people across the country develop career skills that will put them on the pathway to success. 

Additionally, we've committed $250 million over the next five years to New Skills at Work, a global workforce readiness initiative aiming to address the skills gap that exists across many industries where the skills in the marketplace do not match the current job openings. We hope our support of workforce readiness and financial capability programs taken together can help more workers gain employment, earn sufficient incomes to provide for themselves and their families, and access the tools to increase savings, improve credit, and build assets. Because when they do, communities benefit.