Text Size: A A A

Instituto del Progreso Latino Opens Two-Year College in Pilsen to Train Chicago’s Latino Community for High-Demand, Middle-Skills Jobs


JPMorgan Chase $500,000 investment to help facilitate access to skills training for low-income, often underrepresented communities

Instituto College to offer Associate’s Degree in Nursing this fall with Associate’s Degrees in other fields to follow

June 28, 2018 (Chicago, IL) – Today, Instituto del Progreso Latino (Instituto), a community-based organization that has been nationally recognized for its workforce development and career pathway programs, along with JPMorgan Chase & Co., announced the forthcoming opening of Instituto College this fall. Support for the new college also comes from other resources, funding, employer and clinical partners, including Advocate Healthcare System, Alden Lincoln Park, Mt. Sinai Hospitals and Norwegian American Hospital.

Instituto College is a two-year college that will prepare Latinos and other Chicagoans for high-demand, middle-skills jobs by offering them access to lower-tuition Associate’s Degrees, starting with an Associate’s Degree in Nursing in the fall of 2018. It will serve approximately 30 students in its first semester with a goal of reaching 500 learners within five years. In addition to training students for middle-skills positions that Chicago’s employers have trouble filling, Instituto College will offer students resources such as financial coaching and employment counseling.

“Instituto’s programs were built with the mission of connecting the Latino immigrant community with jobs that would lead to stability for the whole family,” said Karina Ayala-Bermejo, President and CEO of Instituto del Progreso Latino. “Instituto College expands our ability to serve the greater Chicago community by bringing students high-quality, low-cost education that will help them meet their goals and aspirations while bringing employers the bi-lingual, skilled employees they need to fill critical positions. Many have dreamed about this day for years and with the generous support of JPMorgan Chase, that day has arrived.”

Instituto College’s focus on growing middle-income careers, such as nursing, follows research from JPMorgan Chase which found that Chicago employers have difficulty filling certain middle-skills positions in the healthcare industry, among others, which could pay up to $22.16 per hour. Meanwhile, the growing opportunity gap in the city means that many Chicagoans lack the education and training they need to fill these jobs.

The Illinois Board of Higher Education has approved Instituto to provide six programs of study over the next five years. Classes will be offered at 2520 S. Western Avenue, in the Pilsen neighborhood.

Opening Instituto College marks an expansion of the services that Instituto has offered since 2005 when Carreras en Salud (Carreras) or Careers in Health program was launched with the support of JPMorgan Chase and other industry partners. Carreras focuses on training low-income, low-English proficient learners, particularly Latinos, for employment in nursing occupations. The new, two-year college will allow students who have had success at the beginning levels of the healthcare career pathway to continue their education.

This career pathway is a proven model for taking students with as low as fourth grade skills up to college level and placing them in nursing careers through targeted courses that are aligned with Chicago’s job market, along with a comprehensive suite of wrap-around services. Carreras is responsible for producing approximately 50 percent of the total bi-lingual (Spanish/English) licensed practical nurses (LPNs) in Illinois.

Recent findings from the Pathways for Advancing Careers and Education (PACE) evaluation show that Carreras is one of the most fully developed examples of a career pathway to date. This study, conducted by Abt Associates for the U. S. Department of Health and Human Services Administrations for Children and Families also showed that Carreras produced an 18-percentage point impact on its participants’ receipt of credentials compared to a control group that did not have access to the program.

“Education that prepares adults and young people for the job market is the key to creating economic opportunity in underserved neighborhoods. That’s why JPMorgan Chase is proud to support Instituto’s work to do just that within the Latino community in Chicago and other underrepresented communities that are still being left behind,” said Whitney Smith, Head of Midwest Philanthropy at JPMorgan Chase. “Our investment in Instituto is part of our long-term commitment to Chicago’s South and West Sides.”

JPMorgan Chase is committed to investing $40 million over three years to create economic opportunity in Chicago’s underserved neighborhoods on the South and West Sides with a focus on job skills training, revitalizing neighborhoods, investing in small businesses and improving financial health. The firm’s investment in Instituto is part of its work to help people develop the skills that they need to compete for today’s jobs through programs that help inform and accelerate efforts to support demand-driven skills training for adults as well as to expand skills-based education for young people.


About Instituto del Progreso
Instituto del Progreso Latino has served the immigrant and Latino communities on Chicago’s South West Side since 1977. Instituto’s mission is to contribute to the fullest development of immigrants and their families through education, training, and employment that fosters full participation in the changing US society while preserving cultural identity and dignity. Instituto serves families through a comprehensive suite of services including workforce development, financial counseling, job placement services, basic adult education, citizenship services, youth education, and more. For more information please visit the Instituto website: https://www.institutochicago.org or call 773-890-0055.

About JPMorgan Chase
JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE: JPM) is a leading global financial services firm with assets of $2.6 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 customers 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.


Media Contacts
Instituto del Progreso
Anna Henriquez, a.henriquez@idpl.org

Media Contacts
Amalia Kontesi, amalia.kontesi@jpmchase.com