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Helping D.C. Residents Gain Future-Proof Skills
With help from JPMorgan Chase and Urban Ed, Durrell Hammond is getting the skills he needs to take his career to the next level.
D.C. is embarking on Mayor Muriel Bowser’s Comeback Plan for economic development. One of the goals of the plan is to create thousands of jobs in high-growth sectors, including technology.
Long before this plan took shape, however, the private and public sector were working together to help expand economic opportunity to the D.C. area. JPMorgan Chase, for example, has partnered with local organizations and community leaders, helping to expand economic opportunity for residents of the community for more than 50 years. Most recently, in 2022, the bank made a $75 million, five-year commitment to drive more inclusive growth—and help improve residents’ career prospects—throughout the Greater Washington region. A core part of the bank’s mission involves supporting skills training programs like Urban Ed, which are training local residents for the future of work.
A Door to the Future
Urban Ed is a D.C. based nonprofit that offers technical training in IT, cybersecurity, and job placement for youths and adults. Located in Anacostia, an area with an unemployment rate of over 20 percent, it has been part of the D.C. community for nearly 20 years. It reaches over 250 individuals per year, particularly in the low-income Ward 8 area, providing them with the skills training and career opportunities they need to get long-term, secure employment.
One of those individuals is Durrell Hammond, who took classes at Urban Ed to get the edge he needed to level up his career.
Working as a Computer Repair Technician at a computer sales and repair shop in Fort Washington, Maryland, Hammond felt the future passing him by. Watching the growth of the tech field in nearby Washington D.C., and the ample opportunities it offered, he knew that it was the job path for him. The only question was how he could get the IT skills and the A+ certification he needed to take his career to the next level.
After studying with Urban Ed, Hammond earned his A+ certification and landed a position as a desktop technician. “I make more money now than I did at my old job in the field that I want," he says. With the resources he found at Urban Ed, Hammond feels equipped to take on his professional goals.
Building a Stronger, More Inclusive Workforce
Building a strong economy begins at the community level. Urban Ed's founder and President, Roxanne J. Williams, says the financial support from JPMorgan Chase is helping her organization expand its reach. "It will allow Urban Ed to open doors for many more young people who might otherwise not have had a shot at a promising career and economic security for themselves and their families," she explains.
With the help of Urban Ed's skills and professional development training, ambitious people like Hammond are being empowered to pursue well-paid, in-demand jobs that can take their career to the next level.