December 12, 2019 (WASHINGTON, D.C.) – A group of leading employers in the Greater Washington, D.C. region – including JPMorgan Chase – have endorsed a comprehensive framework to cultivate in-demand digital tech skills for students in local K-12 public schools, community colleges and four year universities to create career pathways for local residents into the region’s booming digital tech industry.
“As our regional economy grows, we have a responsibility to build an inclusive workforce enabling local residents to compete for well-paying, in-demand technology jobs in our own backyard,” said Peter Scher, Chairman of the Mid-Atlantic Region and Global Head of Corporate Responsibility at JPMorgan Chase. “This is a catalytic moment for our region, highlighting the importance of working with our partners across the public and private sectors to collaborate on the best solutions.”
Building on Regional Collaboration
The framework, built by the Capital CoLAB, calls for regional businesses to collaborate with local governments and educators to develop a technology-focused career pathway. The effort is supported by the creation of a relevant tech-focused curricula which emphasizes work-based learning experiences and provides digital credentials. Combined, the goal is to prepare local students for successful careers in the growing number of available tech jobs in the Greater Washington region.
The Greater Washington region is an increasingly digital economy, employing over 450,000 digital tech workers, ranking it nationally as the second largest digital tech hub, according to JobsEQ. In 2018, 760,000 job postings required “tech” skills, or about 45 percent of all ads in the Greater Washington region, according to Burning Glass.
“Our students are our best assets, and we need to invest in their futures,” said Dr. Charlene Dukes, President of Prince George’s Community College, “As we prepare students with the proper skills for in-demand jobs in the region, we’re glad to see many local employers come to the table to invest in career development and lift up our students.”
In addition to Prince George’s Community College, the regional educational institutions that are part of the Capital CoLAB include: Northern Virginia Community College, Fairfax County Public Schools, George Mason University, DC Public Schools, University of the District of Columbia, Montgomery County Public Schools, Montgomery College, The Universities at Shady Grove, Prince George's County Public Schools, Baltimore City Schools, Baltimore City Community College and University of Baltimore.
The Capital CoLAB is also working to expand economic opportunity by designing pathways that connect postsecondary degrees, certifications and real-world work experiences. The program’s Digital Tech Credential initiative focuses on developing talent in the region by connecting students at participating higher education institutions with top businesses across the region to provide them with opportunities and real-world experience. George Mason University, Virginia Commonwealth University, American University, Georgetown University, University of Richmond and Virginia Tech offered this industry recognized credential to students beginning in the fall 2019 term.
The Principles of the Capital CoLAB
The Capital CoLAB was created by the Greater Washington Partnership as a collaboration with leaders from the region’s top academic institutions and businesses to develop groundbreaking digital technology education that transforms the Greater Washington region into a leading global hub for innovation. The Capital CoLAB is focused on helping students gain in-demand digital tech skills at every point along the education continuum from K-12 to community and four year colleges. The program has three principles:
- Bring together regional employers and education leaders to identify where there are digital skills gaps and input what skills need to be infused into regional education curricula. Create a region-wide network for employers to collect information on talent and skills development and disseminate it to local schools;
- Build an education continuum through college focused on digital tech fluency to strengthen and maintain career pathways leading to high-value credentials, internships and good jobs within the region; and
- Support higher education institutions (community and four-year colleges) by enabling them to learn best practices, design regional strategies and leverage collective strengths.
“Our region’s high schools and community colleges have taken important steps to offer digital technology coursework, but we can do more to better align the curricula with the skills, credentials, and experiences that employers currently demand for high-skill, high-wage jobs requiring digital proficiency,” said Jason Miller, CEO of the Greater Washington Partnership. “By working at scale and across jurisdictional boundaries, collaboration between businesses and educators can create the courses, the training programs, and the work-based learning experiences to enable learners from all backgrounds to take advantage of growing opportunities in our region, ensuring we are building a truly inclusive regional economy.”
Businesses that join the Capital CoLAB agree to invest in and grow digital tech talent in the region. Their contributions include participating in a rigorous process in which employers reach consensus on the digital skills needed by the future workforce, ensuring a single employer signal for educators to use when developing curricula. By engaging with educational institutions, businesses and academic leaders, we will be able to better define, develop and identify the digital tech skills and upskilling needs for the workforce, so that students and professionals receive the on-going education and training they need to stay at the forefront of their field.
“Digital tech skills are vital in today’s job market, but many students do not have the skills needed for current and future employment opportunities,” said Wes Bush, Inaugural Chair of the Capital CoLAB. “Through this innovative partnership between business and academia, the Capital CoLAB will better prepare students with the digital technology skills they need to compete in today's economy, creating a broader talent pipeline for employers across the region.”
JPMorgan Chase and Bloomberg Philanthropies Leading Commitments
JPMorgan Chase and Bloomberg Philanthropies are sharing their lessons learned and best practices in how to grow talent in the region with their philanthropic investments.
Bloomberg Philanthropies is also supporting Capital CoLAB with a $1.5 million investment underscoring the foundation’s commitment to career and technical education while contributing to the Capital CoLAB’s principles to create stronger regional connections between education and employment.
Today’s announcements come one year after JPMorgan Chase was the first regional organization to make an initial philanthropic investment supporting the principles of the Capital CoLAB. In December 2018, JPMorgan Chase announced a $6 million regional investment to expand access to economic opportunity for thousands of young people and help meet the growing demand for skilled workers in the Greater Washington region. The investment will connect businesses and educators to help students develop in-demand skills.
JPMorgan Chase Investing in Greater Washington
JPMorgan Chase has been doing business in the Greater Washington region since 1999, and in April 2018, the firm announced its expansion in the region with the opening of 70 new branches and the hiring of up to 700 new employees in Virginia, Maryland and D.C. In addition, the firm made a five-year, $25 million philanthropic commitment to drive inclusive economic growth in the region.
In addition to offering local customers access to its award-winning banking services supporting job and local economic growth, JPMorgan Chase is bringing the best of its business and philanthropic efforts to help create opportunity for more residents.
About JPMorgan Chase & Co.
JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE: JPM) is a leading global financial services firm with assets of $2.7 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. Information about JPMorgan Chase & Co. is available at www.jpmorganchase.com.