JPMorgan Chase releases Skills Gap Report in Chicago
The transportation, distribution and logistics, and healthcare sectors will generate 20,000 well-paying middle-skill jobs annually from 2014-2019
JPMorgan Chase announces a $500,000 grant to accelerate public-private workforce initiatives
JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE:JPM) released a new report, “Growing Skills for a Growing Chicago,” which describes the opportunity gap between the thousands of middle-skills jobs created by the region’s economy and the lack of career readiness of many of its citizens.
The Chicago region recovery is accelerating and currently has more than 980,000 well-paying middle-skill jobs that represent 23% of the region’s workforce. Middle-skill jobs require more than a high school credential but less than a Bachelor’s degree. Based on a study of recent hiring trends, the local economy is projected to generate nearly 28,000 new middle-skill jobs every year through 2019 that are both in high-demand occupations and also pay a living wage. These jobs pay a median wage of $26.93 per hour, which is nearly 42 percent higher than the region’s living wage of $18.98 per hour. However, as more middle-skill jobs become available, the report finds that many job seekers in the region do not have the necessary skills, training or education to fill these well-paying, available jobs.
“Creating a deep and diverse talent pool is essential to successfully developing Chicago’s economy, which is why we launched the College to Careers program at City Colleges of Chicago to ensure that graduates are educated and trained for 21st century jobs,” said Mayor Rahm Emanuel. “This report validates our strategy of focusing on those sectors - like healthcare, transportation distribution and logistics - poised for significant job growth in the coming years. Working with partners like JPMorgan Chase, the city will continue to invest in the right economic development opportunities and work to close the skills gap.”
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the Chicago metropolitan area contributes nearly 3 percent of the nation’s total jobs and added more than 200,000 new jobs since 2010. It is projected to exceed pre-recession employment levels by 2017. Job growth for the regions is expected to be 8.9 percent through 2020.
Middle Skill Opportunities in Chicago Region
The report finds that there are growing opportunities for workers in middle-skill jobs throughout Chicago’s diverse economy, but two sectors in particular dominate middle-skill job growth. Transportation, distribution and logistics (TDL) and healthcare will generate 20,000 well-paying middle-skill jobs annually, which is more than 70 percent of these new jobs from 2014-2019.
With one of the largest rail freight hubs in the country, major international airports and a higher concentration of transportation and warehousing jobs than in the nation, Chicago numbers more than 200,000 total TDL jobs, including 13 percent of all well-paying middle-skill online job postings in the region. Middle-skill opportunities in TDL include procurement, mechanical repair, specialized mechanics, air traffic control, rail transportation, and supply chain management.
Healthcare makes up 23 percent of all well-paying middle-skill online job postings in the region. It is the largest private sector employer with more than 410,000 positions. Middle-skill healthcare opportunities in the Chicago area include biomedical equipment technicians for dialysis centers and medical laboratories, physical and occupational therapy assistants, surgical technologists, and health information managers. Bilingual candidates, in particular Spanish speakers, are highly sought by Chicago-area employers.
JPMorgan Chase Funding to Address Skills Gap
“Addressing the growing opportunity gap for low-income and low-skilled workers is one of our greatest workforce priorities,” said Melissa Bean, Chairman of the Midwest for JPMorgan Chase. “That’s what our workforce efforts are all about. Helping people gain the work skills they need will transform lives and strengthen our region’s economy.”
Along with releasing the Skills Gap Report, JPMorgan Chase announced a $500,000 grant to the Chicagoland Workforce Funders Alliance (CWFA) to help drive alignment across employers and workforce partners to address existing systems challenges and promote common metrics and data-driven decision making.
“The Chicago region has a strong and diverse economy with a robust, high-quality education and training infrastructure,” said Chauncy Lennon, JPMorgan Chase’s head of workforce initiatives. “Our CWFA grant aims to enhance and accelerate the collaboration amongst public and private workforce resources so both employer and employee can capitalize on the growing opportunities within the market.”
The skills gap report and workforce grants are part of the bank’s $250 million, five-year global workforce readiness initiative, New Skills at Work, the largest ever private-sector effort aimed at addressing the skills gap. In 2013, Chase kicked off the global program with a $15 million commitment to workforce readiness and demand-driven training in the Chicago region.
One of the first New Skills at Work grants that Chase made was to Skills for Chicagoland’s Future (SCF), a public-private partnership working to close the skills gap in Chicago and Cook County. The two-year, $600,000 contribution helped expand the organization’s work and place a special emphasis on returning service members.
“JPMorgan Chase has played an instrumental role in our mission to connect Chicagoland employers with qualified, unemployed and underemployed job seekers,” said Marie Lynch, president and CEO of Skills for Chicagoland’s Future. “Chase’s long-standing support, which includes grant funding, leadership on our board of directors and hiring unemployed job seekers, has helped us expand our reach and place more than 1,500 job seekers into employment - approximately 70 percent of whom were long-term unemployed.”
Through SCF, Tramaine Lewis, a U.S. Army veteran, mother of three, and multiple part-time jobs worker, found a stable, secure role with NorthShore University Health Systems. Tramaine had healthcare industry experience and SCF helped match her skills with an appropriate employer.
The skills gap report highlights some of the challenges that minority populations and individuals with criminal backgrounds face when job seeking. Community-based organizations often are the front line in providing the ’first rung’ of career pathway programming for lower socioeconomic individuals. For example, Chase has seen good results from its grant to such an organization, North Lawndale Employment Network’s CTA rail car servicer training program.
Mark Cross aspired to work in the automotive field but his criminal background proved to be a big stumbling block. When he found the North Lawndale Employment Network (NLEN), he began to hope. Through NLEN, Mark started an apprenticeship with the CTA as a Rail Car Servicer, which has turned into a full-time job. He loves his job and can support his family. “Don’t let anything stop you from achieving your goals.”
About the Skills Gap Report
JPMorgan Chase is releasing a series of skills gap reports in nine metropolitan regions in the United States and four European countries. The reports draw from an array of data, including traditional and real-time labor market information and analysis from EMSI and Burning Glass Technologies, Inc. The reports focus on middle-skills occupation as defined by Economic Modeling Specialists International (EMSI) based on aggregated data from over 90 federal, state and private sources and a multi-variable technique that includes three criteria: family-sustaining wages, recent employment growth, and employment size. Burning Glass provided real-time labor market demand information from online job postings by aggregating and analyzing code data from multiple classification and occupation databases. Jobs for the Future integrated EMSI and Burning Glass data with other data sources like the analysis of longitudinal Quarterly Workforce Indicators from the U.S. Census Bureau, to write the report.
About JPMorgan Chase in the Chicago Region
JPMorgan Chase has more than 14,350 employees in the Chicago region, making it one of the top employers in the metropolitan area. Chase has 343 branches and serves 3.4 million consumers and 243,500 small businesses in the region. The company provides more than $10 million annually in charitable contributions to area nonprofits focused on workforce readiness initiatives, financial capability building and small business growth.
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