January 23, 2023 - Skills for Chicagoland’s Future (Skills) today announced a $500,000 philanthropic investment from JPMorgan Chase to support ongoing plans to expand across the country and bring its proven successful workforce model to disinvested communities where unemployment remains high.
“JPMorgan Chase has been a long-time supporter of Skills’ work, and a foundational grantor that has enabled us to reach the level of impact we’ve had thus far. We are very thankful to JPMorgan Chase for its commitment to the expansion of our impact and our national expansion plans,” said Skills’ SVP of Strategic Initiatives and National Expansion, Daniel Cervantes.
Skills launched its national expansion initiative last year to expand to 25 new sites across the country over the next decade and place 500,000 people into jobs. The efforts come at a time when unemployment, though at record lows nationally, remains persistently high in communities that have experienced historic disinvestment and lack of opportunity. Skills recently announced a new affiliate site in development in partnership with the Greater Phoenix Chamber Foundation in Arizona.
“A good job is essential for thriving families, strong communities and a growing economy,” said Miguel Cambray, Vice President, Global Philanthropy at JPMorgan Chase. “But for too many people, pathways into these in-demand jobs remains out of reach. We are thrilled to support Skills in their efforts to connect more workers with the critical resources and support needed to access meaningful employment for a more equitable future.”
The philanthropic investment from JPMorgan Chase will provide Skills with the needed capital for national expansion operations and supports seed funding grants in areas that are interested in adapting the Skills model. Skills has now raised over $4 million towards its $10 million goal for Skills for America’s Future initiative. Other donors include the Walmart Foundation, Aviv Foundation, Stand Together Foundation, Charles Koch Foundation, Community Focus Fund of the Chicago Community Trust, and numerous individual private funders.
Founded and developed in 2012, Skills is a leading nonprofit that has flipped the traditional workforce model to address unemployment and underemployment. Skills’ “jobs-first” approach starts by going directly to employers to understand their hiring needs, company culture and long-term goals. Skills then connects those employers to unemployed individuals who Skills has helped coach, prepare and advocate for to find employment. To date, the Skills model has placed nearly 20,000 people into jobs through Skills for Chicagoland’s Future and its affiliate site, Skills for Rhode Island’s Future.
Companies or cities interested in learning more about the expansion campaign can visit www.skillsforamericasfuture.org.