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Filling the Skills Gap

Woman sorting through a bin in a Goodwill warehouse

At Tennessee’s Lenoir City High School, health sciences students participate in a car crash simulation.

A changing global economy and the rise of technology have dramatically transformed the types of workforce skills that are in demand. JPMorgan Chase is investing over $325 million in skills development around the world, including our New Skills for Youth and New Skills at Work initiatives. Through this effort, we are working to help fill the skills gap for employers and simultaneously provide adult workers with a real and tangible pathway to economic opportunity.


In communities around the world, there is a lack of reliable information on new and emerging skill needs. It became clear to us that closing the skills gap had to start with closing the data gap. That is why a key part of New Skills at Work’s strategy is investing in data and analysis.

One such philanthropic investment is Adapting to Changing Skills Needs, a project launched by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and JPMorgan Chase in 2016. The goals of the effort are to fill knowledge gaps in the assessment of skill imbalances and to identify international best practices in addressing them. The project will build an online statistical tool that will enable users to compare how their country performs against other OECD countries on a set of indicators that measure skill imbalances; users can also see which occupations and skills face the strongest labor market pressure. The project will highlight cross-country patterns and identify policies in addressing skill gaps, and provide in-depth reviews for selected countries in Europe and South Africa.


We know the importance of integrating career pathways that help participants build skills and credentials to advance in their careers over time. The success of these approaches depends on effectively reaching job seekers to make them aware of the possible pathways and which skills and education are needed to get there. However, we have seen that too often that is not happening.

This is the idea behind JPMorgan Chase’s partnership with Houston’s East Harris County Manufacturers Association (EHCMA) and the Council for Adult and Experiential Learning to create an innovative, online platform to help students and adults tap into career opportunities in the petrochemical industry.

“Many of these careers are hidden in plain sight, and once people know about them, they become interested because of the compensation, benefits and ability to have a lifelong career with one employer,” says Craig Beskid, executive director of EHCMA.

Launched with the support of JPMorgan Chase, is an interactive and information-packed career exploration resource, which benefits from the input of more than 150 petrochemical experts and company representatives. It features interest-based career maps, educational resources, listings of open jobs and related skills and educational requirements.

In the United Kingdom, JPMorgan Chase supported the creation of another tool to give job seekers visibility into the career options available to them: Developed by Burning Glass Technologies and the Institute for Public Policy Research, the online resource provides data on skills and vacancies for middle-skill jobs and the gaps between them that exist in different occupations and areas of the country.