JPMorgan Chase Commits $20 Million to Support Summer Youth Employment Programs Across the United States
Five-year commitment will help young people access summer work opportunities and gain the experience they need to build career pathways and achieve economic mobility.
Newark, NJ, May 19, 2022 - Today, JPMorgan Chase announced a new $20 million, five-year philanthropic commitment to support summer youth employment programs (SYEPs) in 24 U.S. markets. Building on the success and lessons learned from the firm’s previous Summer Youth commitments, this commitment will continue to help young people, particularly those from under-resourced communities, enter the workforce and gain meaningful experience that will lead to quality career pathways.
The commitment includes a continued focus on skills development and quality job placements, as well as supporting and testing virtual models, to engage young people and better prepare them for the future of work. The commitment will also prioritize employer engagement to develop strong partnerships, expanded work opportunities, and high-quality work-based learning and mentorships, in addition to integrating existing work into local public workforce and education systems to drive long-term change and support.
Unemployment rates among youth age 16 to 24 were exacerbated during the pandemic, which saw the lowest levels of youth summer employment since the Great Recession. Youth age 16 to 24 in lower-income families were disproportionately affected by these disparities. As work experience and education has become more valuable, the pathway to a good job has become more challenging for young adults, particularly those from underrepresented communities.
According to new research from Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce, to secure a good job, young adults need to acquire high-quality work experience and more education than was necessary for previous generations. Unequal access to high-quality work experience through work-based learning programs and youth employment further contributes to gaps in good jobs.
“The COVID-19 pandemic, and ongoing racial and economic crises have had a disproportionate impact on young people, especially for those in under-resourced communities who have had to juggle supporting their families and preparing for their own futures,” said Demetrios Marantis, Global Head of Corporate Responsibility at JPMorgan Chase. “Early employment opportunities for young people are incredibly valuable and often provide the necessary skills, network and experience they need for future career success and economic mobility. Working closely with local government, employers and community partners, we can help ensure that more young people are exposed to these critical learning experiences and can benefit from an inclusive economy for a brighter future.”
Starting with today’s announcement in Newark, this year’s commitment will touch down in 23 additional markets across the country, including:
- Baltimore, Maryland
- Boston, Massachusetts
- Chicago, Illinois
- Detroit, Michigan
- Dallas, Texas
- Ft. Lauderdale/Broward County, Florida
- Hartford, Connecticut
- Houston, Texas
- Indianapolis, Indiana
- Louisville, Kentucky
- Los Angeles, California
- Milwaukee, Wisconsin
- New Orleans, Louisiana
- New York City, New York
- Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
- Phoenix, Arizona
- Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
- San Bernardino, California
- San Francisco/Bay Area, California
- St. Louis, Missouri
- SW Washington, Washington
- Washington, DC
- Wilmington, Delaware
Summer work experiences that expose young people to careers, connect them to valuable social networks and employer experiences is one way to begin addressing existing barriers to economic opportunity.
“Investing in our youth is critical for our future and it begins with ensuring that they have access to programs such as Summer Youth Employment,” said Newark Mayor Ras J. Baraka. "These summer work experiences help to develop young minds by teaching them valuable interviewing and workplace skills, financial empowerment, and providing opportunities to explore different career pathways. JPMorgan Chase’s investment will enable Newark and other cities across the country to continue to implement these proven practices, expanding the horizons of thousands of youth and providing them with access to in-demand, living-wage jobs. I thank JPMorgan Chase for putting more Newark youth on a path to success and a trajectory that will help them to build wealth for themselves and their families."
Newark’s own Summer Youth Employment Program has become a national model. The number of youth served tripled under Mayor Baraka's leadership, despite the impact of COVID-19, which required a pivot to virtual programs to replace on-site activities.
JPMorgan Chase is committed to supporting quality summer work opportunities for young people. In 2013, the firm made an initial commitment to SYEPs to increase the number of available summer jobs and expanded that commitment to $17 million across more than 20 sites in 2017. Since then, the firm has helped thousands of young adults benefit from learning and work experiences.
History of Preparing Young People for the Future of Work
Today’s announcement aligns with the firm’s broader commitments to preparing people for the future of work, and closing the racial wealth gap.
In 2019, the firm announced its $350 million, global commitment to preparing people for the future of work through skills development, mentorship and training and expanding access to economic opportunity. Through its $75 million, global career readiness initiative and existing mentorship programs like The Fellowship Initiative, the firm has demonstrated its commitment to supporting young people to access promising and fruitful economic futures.
These commitments are all part of the firm’s $30 billion, five-year commitment to increase economic opportunities for underserved communities, especially Black, Hispanic and Latino communities, and to drive an inclusive economic recovery.