Invested in Detroit
As a proud Detroiter, I am deeply cognizant of Detroit’s place in history. The Arsenal of Democracy. Birthplace of the automobile. Central site in the civil rights movement. Home of Motown. And the list goes on. This heritage fuels the pride of all of us who live and work here, even when our city has struggled. It is also part of what inspired JPMorgan Chase to commit $100 million — the largest corporate philanthropic investment ever made in Detroit — to support and accelerate the city’s recovery.
Video: Detroit & JPMorgan Chase & Co.
Proof of Concept
We view our work in Detroit as “proof of concept” of our firm’s strategy for helping more people move up the economic ladder and share in the rewards of a growing economy.
Our efforts around the world have made clear to us that there are some key drivers of inclusive growth — and that they are as equally true in Detroit as they are in all cities. They include arming people with the skills needed for today’s high-quality jobs, providing small businesses — particularly minority-owned and community-based ones — with the capital and resources they need to succeed, investing in community development that revitalizes not only urban cores but also surrounding neighborhoods and giving households the tools and resources to manage their financial health.
We believe that, taken together, these are the pillars of opportunity. When we address them in an integrated and data-driven way, we lay the foundation for more widespread prosperity. It is a model that is making a real impact in Detroit — and it is one that can be equally effective in cities around the world.
Angel Paris, owner of Power, Lighting and Technical Services in Detroit, used support from the Entrepreneurs of Color Fund to help expand into a new facility.
JPMorgan Chase’s history in Detroit dates back more than 80 years — 35 of which I have been with the firm — starting with our predecessor, National Bank of Detroit.
Throughout that time, JPMorgan Chase has supported local nonprofits and been a part of the city’s civic life. In 2014, however, we dramatically expanded our commitment to the city with the launch of our Invested in Detroit initiative. We pledged $50 million to fund and catalyze further investment in housing, commercial and manufacturing projects across the city. We also pledged another $50 million to strengthen the city’s workforce system, support small business growth — especially for minority and women entrepreneurs — stabilize neighborhoods and support other transformative investments.
We placed this big bet on Detroit’s turnaround not only because we saw a need but also because we saw an unprecedented spirit of engagement, cooperation and commitment among the city’s leaders, business community and nonprofit sector. With these conditions in place, we believed the right kind of commitment by our company could make a real difference.
We also knew that we had more we could offer the city than financial resources alone. The fact is, JPMorgan Chase does not believe in just writing checks; rather, we put the weight of all our resources — data, technology and our people’s deep expertise, market knowledge and relationships — behind our efforts to catalyze inclusive growth and expand access to opportunity. And we focus our efforts where we can best put our firm’s unique skills and competencies to work to advance this agenda. This is exactly what we are doing in Detroit.
In Detroit, we saw an opportunity and a need to bring together our full range of efforts in our most comprehensive philanthropic initiative to date.
We know that the drivers of inclusive growth are fundamentally linked, so moving the needle of opportunity in Detroit requires addressing all of them in an integrated way.
Similarly, we know that the challenges facing the city are complex and interconnected. Meaningfully addressing them, then, demands a thoughtful, holistic and collaborative approach. Take blight, for example. We recognized that identifying, removing and rehabilitating blighted properties — a critical and massive task in and of itself — had to be just one part of a larger and more integrated strategy to stabilize and revitalize Detroit’s neighborhoods. We also saw that blight removal efforts could be leveraged to provide economic opportunities for Detroit’s residents.
As a result, our firm is making coordinated investments across the range of elements that must come together to create livable, inclusive and sustainable neighborhoods. This includes support for blight mitigation organizations, such as the Motor City Mapping project. It also includes creating and seeding innovative financing models to help homebuyers buy and rehabilitate blighted homes, such as our collaboration with Liberty Bank. But we know that addressing the physical landscape alone isn’t enough.
“The challenges that batter our cities and communities — poverty, income disparities, structural racism, disinvestment — far exceed the capacity of any individual actor. This has been vividly apparent in Detroit. When once dependable business and civic players retreated in the face of economic turmoil and municipal frailty, philanthropy stepped in. We collaborated with an array of partners to invest in the civic scaffolding of neighborhoods, transportation infrastructure, anchor institutions, economic development and arts and culture until the public and private sectors could resume their rightful roles. In the wake of that experience, we find this cross-sectoral, cross-discipline approach too effective to be reserved for crisis. This is the way we must continue to forge ahead.”
That’s why we are also supporting workforce training programs that are arming Detroiters with the skills they need for jobs in industries emerging out of the need to transform Detroit’s vacant land and remove and renovate its blighted structures. It is one of the reasons the Entrepreneurs of Color Fund, supported by JPMorgan Chase, offers a contractor line of credit to help small businesses in Detroit’s construction industry capitalize on the growing demand for their services.
This integrated approach is also driving our support for the new Detroit Strategic Neighborhoods Fund, which brings together community developers and dedicated resources to fuel inclusive development in a targeted group of neighborhoods. And it is why we seeded Develop Detroit, the city’s first nonprofit real estate development firm focused exclusively on creating and preserving affordable housing in Detroit’s neighborhoods.
Finally, our holistic and deep engagement is reflected in the Detroit Service Corps. Since 2014, we have sent 68 of our most talented employees from around the world to Detroit to spend three weeks embedded with our nonprofit partners, lending their skills and expertise to help these organizations fulfill their critical missions.
Clearly, there is still much work to be done to ensure Detroit’s rising tide lifts the boat for all Detroiters. But the momentum is palpable and signs of progress can be seen across the city.
JPMorgan Chase is proud to be a part of Detroit and we are deeply invested in its future.
Detroit as a Startup
With scarce resources and big challenges in our city, Detroiters have had no choice but to take risks and try new things. And when that doesn’t work, we try something else.
It’s similar to the “innovate-test-iterate” mindset inherent in technology startups. More and more, I am seeing this mindset applied across Detroit, not only by fellow entrepreneurs but also in the public sector. I see this spirit as well in the way JPMorgan Chase has approached its partnership with Loveland. It’s brought a willingness to give new ideas a shot and quickly adjust as we all learn more about what works and what doesn’t.
TWEET THIS: "Applying "innovate-test-iterate" across Detroit and beyond by Jerry Paffendorf @chase"
My company’s story illustrates what this iterative process looks like in practice. We got our start trying to build a community around a vacant lot by inviting people to buy one-inch parcels through a website we created. In the process, we learned that no one actually knew what was out there in terms of the city’s vacant and blighted properties. Eventually, that effort evolved into the Motor City Mapping Project. Now, based on the success we’ve had in Detroit and what we’ve learned there — and with the support of JPMorgan Chase as we continue to explore new markets and expand our work — we’re taking the approach to other cities around the country
In the tech industry we often tout the “fail fast” mantra, but I prefer “fail slowly.”
Not that any of us wants to fail, of course, but there are benefits to sticking with something long enough to find solutions. That was what we did at Loveland. Even as we “failed” our way forward, we determinedly stayed focused on our core issue: understanding land use and how it contributes to the life or death of neighborhoods.
Applying a startup mentality to solving Detroit’s challenges means taking the best of the rapid-fire “innovate-test-iterate” cycle and bridging it with a vision for creating long-term change. JPMorgan Chase provides that kind of bridge: patient capital for innovative solutions to deep problems.
Inclusive Recovery in Detroit
As Detroit emerges from a decades-long economic crisis, its challenge is to create not simply a recovery but an inclusive recovery.
This requires a plan for fueling growth that benefits the city’s longtime residents, draws on their experiences and amplifies their voices. Detroit exemplifies many of the crucial elements required to achieve this inclusive vision.
Success depends on partnership across the public, nonprofit and private sectors. Detroit has done this as well as any city I have seen, with stakeholders across sectors knitting together a strategy for renewal. Public-sector officials are partnering with a deeply committed philanthropic community and engaged business leaders. These three sectors are collaborating to create and implement an integrated strategy.
This is hard work. The city and its partners may not always get it right at first, but their demonstrated commitment will help ensure that Detroit’s recovery is a shared recovery. This is part of what is uniquely powerful in Detroit: The city’s partners have been willing to make the kind of cross-sector investments that will prove effective — from small business growth to workforce development to affordable housing.
TWEET THIS: "Urban Institute is bringing analytics to inform JPMorgan Chase’s efforts in Detroit by Sarah Rosen Wartell @chase"
In partnership with the city, JPMorgan Chase has worked to understand the community’s needs and to bring the firm’s particular capacity to bear to make a meaningful impact. To this end, Urban Institute is bringing data and analytics to inform and assess JPMorgan Chase’s philanthropic efforts in Detroit. Through this collaborative effort, Urban is forming local partnerships as well as mining data and experience to provide insights that will enhance and advance local conversation and generate a wider understanding of major economic and social challenges; JPMorgan Chase is incorporating those insights to make its programs in Detroit and elsewhere even more effective.
The story of Detroit is, in many ways, the story of what can be achieved through collective effort.