4 lessons from JPMorgan Chase’s $40 Million Investment in Chicago’s South and West Sides

One year in, half of the company’s commitment is deployed, is it making a difference?

Walking through Chicago’s South and West sides today, you can hear the sound of neighborhoods rebuilding. New construction is underway, homes are being remodeled and small businesses are opening. While communities still struggle with disinvestment, concentrated poverty, and associated gun violence, many Chicagoans are using all of the available resources to better their situation, community and city.

One year ago, JPMorgan Chase, one of Chicago’s long-term business partners, made a $40 million, three-year pledge to expand access to opportunity on Chicago’s South and West sides. Half of that capital has already been deployed and is driving inclusive growth in the Windy City.

Here’s what it looks like in practice:

Lessons Learned

The South and West sides are transforming because of collaborations between local businesses, nonprofits, city government and the grit of hard-working Chicagoans. With change on the horizon, JPMorgan Chase is reflecting on lessons learned and reaffirmed through work in the South and West sides.

  • Develop early/foundational work skills for today’s labor market.
  • Build skills mastery over time—summer to summer or year-round.
  • Earn credentials or college credits.
  • Connect to career pathway opportunities, especially linked to high-growth sectors.
  • Access long-term career opportunities, including jobs in the private sector.
  • Address barriers that may limit postsecondary options, especially for vulnerable youth populations.

“Our investment is beginning to make a real impact in people's lives thanks to the tireless, on-the-ground work of our nonprofit partners,” said Whitney Smith, head of midwest philanthropy for JPMorgan Chase. “Each person who has graduated from a training program and landed a new job, and each entrepreneur who now has financing to expand her business, is the true metric of success.”


Interested in learning more about JPMorgan Chase’s work in cities? Discover the AdvancingCities initiative.