Press Releases

JPMorgan Chase & Co. today announced a $500,000 data-driven investment to the Arthur M. Brazier Foundation to help expand Chicago residents’ access to economic opportunity through a robotics technician training program operated by BSD Industries. BSD is a social enterprise of the Brazier Foundation that is focused on bringing economic opportunities to South Side neighborhoods.


With upgraded technology in the manufacturing sector requiring advanced skills, and turnover in an aging workforce, there is significant demand for skilled workers in advanced manufacturing roles in Chicago. Careers for middle-skill computer controlled programmers and machining and installation occupations, for example, are projected to grow 9 percent by 2023 across the Chicago region.

JPMorgan Chase is investing over $350 million in data-driven solutions to skills development around the world. In Chicago, the firm is investing the time and skills of its employees as well as working closely with area employers, community leaders, education institutions, workforce system and other leaders to develop a set of strategies to address workforce challenges.

“Businesses and the community working together is our best chance to solve big issues, like access to good jobs, and that is what’s happening in Chicago’s South Side,” said Jamie Dimon, Chairman and CEO, JPMorgan Chase. “Our investment will help BSD Industries provide the neighborhood workforce with the skills and experience they need to get a job in advanced manufacturing and put themselves on a path to a better life.”

JPMorgan Chase’s $500,000, 2-year investment will fund a robotics technician training and support program on the South Side of Chicago where many people don’t have access to living-wage employment or career paths. The initiative is a social enterprise that will reinvest profits from its manufactured goods back into the training program and South Side community development opportunities, with a goal of becoming fully self-sustaining by 2020.

“If we want our city to thrive, we have to work together to bridge the gap between our workforce and in-demand jobs,” said Dr. Byron Brazier, President, Brazier Foundation. “We are excited to partner with JPMorgan Chase to make this training facility a reality that will create economic opportunity for so many of our neighbors.”

In addition to the firm’s $500,000 Brazier investment, JPMorgan Chase recently sent a Service Corps team to BSD where four JPMorgan Chase employees put their skills and expertise to work helping BSD improve their procurement process. Together they helped BSD negotiate a lower cost for sourcing sustainable materials for the biodegradable cutlery they produce. Revenues from BSD’s cutlery sales go back into their parent nonprofit, the Brazier Foundation, which then injects funds back into the community.

Investment Overview

This innovative apprenticeship program aims to create career pathways in the following ways.

  • Supporting a 13-month certificate training program including job readiness skills, Computer Assisted Design (CAD), industrial control systems, automation controls programming and robotics programming.
  • Providing advanced manufacturing internship and apprenticeship opportunities that can lead to careers in electrical controls support ($45,000 annual salary) and robotics/automation technician ($60,000 annual salary).
  • Training approximately 120 trainees per year for 20-week paid apprenticeships at the same facility.

Many industry sectors in the Chicago metropolitan region are having difficulty filling certain middle-skill positions. World Business Chicago has identified the shortage of middle-skill workers as a major regional hurdle. Approximately 60 percent of job openings require middle-skill credentials, but only 54 percent of the region’s workforce has the necessary education levels – reflecting the mismatch between the education and skills that workers currently have and the skills required by the regions’ emerging industries.

Through several targeted philanthropic initiatives, JPMorgan Chase is investing over $350 million in data-driven solutions to skills development around the world. Investing in this workforce is part of the firm’s five-year, $250 million New Skills at Work initiative to help inform and accelerate efforts to address the mismatch between the needs of employers and the skills of job seekers. The firm has also committed $75 million to a separate five-year effort called New Skills for Youth to address the youth unemployment crisis by increasing the number of young people who complete career pathways that begin in high school and end with postsecondary degrees or credentials aligned with good-paying, high-demand jobs.


About BSD Industries L3C
BSD Industries L3C is a manufacturing company that produces a range of high quality, sustainable, plastic products. The introductory line of cutlery products also includes cups and lids. BSD Industries helps community residents build self-determination through robotics training and development of a career support system that will assist in the fulfillment of current and future job employment. As a social enterprise, our profits are used to invest in the stabilization of communities.


About JPMorgan Chase

JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE: JPM) is a leading global financial services Firm with assets of $3.2 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.