01/13/2021: Connecting Young People to Opportunity and Employers to Talent

JPMorgan Chase supports Philadelphia Youth Network’s efforts to close the talent gap

The Philadelphia Youth Network (PYN) has received a two-year, $1 million contribution from JPMorgan Chase to further the organization's efforts to close the talent gap and increase employment among opportunity youth.

As many youth and young adults returned to school, virtual or otherwise, this month, there are many who did not. Of these young adults, about 17% of all 18 to 24-year-olds in the nation’s largest cities and counties are out of work (2.3 million people). This funding will allow PYN to create year-round programming that focuses on providing “opportunity youth” (youth aged between 16 to 24 who are neither in school nor working) with programming that can reconnect them to the workforce.

“JPMorgan Chase is proud to support this initiative. There are more than 33,000 youth in Philadelphia who are in need of career opportunities – and we are committed to significantly reducing this number,” said Rob Melchionni, Market Executive, Middle Market and Specialized Industries and Co-Chair of the Philadelphia Market Leadership Team for JPMorgan Chase. “From our long-standing history with PYN, we know how important it is to support youth employment, and we know that this partnership will have lasting impact.”

Core partners for this work include District 1199C Training & Upgrading Fund, JEVS Human Services and The Chamber of Commerce for Greater Philadelphia, in addition to West Philadelphia Skills Initiative, Philadelphia Works and City of Philadelphia Department of Commerce, among others.  Each partner brings a unique strength and role in the youth workforce development system to this work, which would be impossible without this type of partnership.

District 1199C Training & Upgrading Fund and JEVS Human Services have years of experience in youth workforce training and partnership building in healthcare and tech, respectively. The Chamber, Philadelphia Works and City Department of Commerce are invaluable to informing the broader landscape of employment and offering the employer connections necessary to make this a success for young people. West Philadelphia Skills Initiative has experience with the strategies being employed with this investment and will share their learnings to help expand their success to opportunity youth.         

PYN partners with more than 50 local employers and intends to leverage this network to gain a better understanding of the skills employers are looking for in new talent. PYN will work with youth-serving organizations to translate employer needs into programming that supports even more closely aligned skill development and training for youth participants.

"The Chamber is so pleased to partner with JPMorgan Chase, the Philadelphia Youth Network, and numerous other partners on this important effort to increase training for young people to meet the needs of our region’s employers," said Susan Jacobson, Chair of the Chamber of Commerce for Greater Philadelphia. “Our Recharge and Recover PHL initiative aligns perfectly with this vital program as we seek to have Philadelphia become the national model to learn, apprentice, and work in the jobs of the future.”

In Philadelphia, roughly 25% of the workforce is concentrated in the healthcare and tech industries – so PYN has identified these areas as target industries for opportunity youth programming. Through completion of the program, the goal is that 100 youth will secure job placements in these industries.

“After the Global Financial Crisis, we learned what a devastating effect recessions can have on young people's entire life trajectory if we don't have a plan to connect them with real, fulfilling career opportunities – and just how much more devastating those effects can be for young people of color. As we move towards a post-COVID economy, it is vital that workforce development organizations work more closely than ever with our employer partners to genuinely take advantage of everything our young people – all of our young people, not just the more privileged or advantaged – have to offer,” said Teresa Collins, Acting Executive Director, District 1199C Training & Upgrading Fund.

“The next wave of innovation and economic transformation will be driven by young people who have dealt so creatively and flexibly with the disruption to their lives, education and careers by the COVID-19 pandemic; it is up to us, and our employer partners, to help put them in position to do so."

“Access to the skills that lead to living-wage, in-demand jobs for young adults in our region has to be central to any economic recovery plan. The pandemic deepened the divide between the those with and without skills and those with and without pathways to good jobs, which is why JEVS is excited to be partner in this effort.  We hope that by bringing employers with middle skill jobs to fill together with the right workforce partners, more Philadelphia youth can realize long-term employment success – and success in life,” says Jay Spector, President and CEO of JEVS Human Services. 

Together with JPMorgan Chase and trusted partners, this program aims to reduce the opportunity youth rate by 8% by 2024, as well as increase the number of opportunity youth entering the workforce.

“We are honored to receive this grant from JPMorgan Chase, particularly because we understand that the pandemic has significantly disrupted employment for everyone, especially young people,” said Chekemma Fulmore-Townsend, PYN’s President & CEO, “With this grant, we can begin to take the next step to provide opportunity youth with employment – as we know that our young people are vital to our nation’s economic recovery.”

About Philadelphia Youth Network

The Philadelphia Youth Network (PYN) is a solutions-builder forging together significant players to alleviate a root cause of poverty by preparing 12-24-year-olds to become productive working adults. Our work is grounded in the understanding that young people need access to both education and employment, proven factors in being prepared for a career. With a track record of increasing impact, PYN funds and brokers action with the right partners to collectively address barriers. PYN constructs systems to create change, while innovating to meet evolving needs. Together with our partners, PYN dramatically changes the trajectory of individuals’ lives by giving voice to underserved youth, and ultimately creating a pipeline for an educated, engaged workforce. For more information, visit pyninc.org.

About The Chamber of Commerce for Greater Philadelphia

The Chamber of Commerce for Greater Philadelphia (the Chamber) brings area businesses and civic leaders together to promote growth and create opportunity in our region. Our members represent eleven counties, three states, and roughly 600,000 employees from thousands of member companies and organizations. We advocate for regional development, business-friendly public policies, and economic prosperity. And all that we do serves one clear goal: to make Greater Philadelphia a great place for good business.

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. Information about JPMorgan Chase & Co. is available at www.jpmorganchase.com.

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