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Financial Giant Chief Unveils Plan to Tackle ‘Skills Gap’

Rahm Emanuel: "Addressing the skills gap can be one of our most powerful tools for...creating more broadly shared prosperity."

by
Rodrigo Sermeño

Bio

December 22, 2013 - 12:04 am

WASHINGTON – Jamie Dimon, JPMorgan’s chairman and chief executive, announced a major initiative this month aimed at tackling the mismatch between the need of employers for skilled talent and the skills possessed by the available workforce.

Dimon unveiled the new five-year initiative, called “New Skills at Work,” focused on filling the skills gap in some of the largest urban areas in the world. The program will initially launch in Chicago, Dallas, Detroit, Houston, Los Angeles, Columbus, Miami, New York, San Francisco, and London.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel of Chicago joined Dimon for the announcement at the Aspen Institute in Washington, D.C., where they also discussed how to train workers for available jobs in the U.S.

“Addressing the skills gap can be one of our most powerful tools for reducing unemployment and creating more broadly shared prosperity,” Dimon told those in attendance.

Emanuel identified an education system that produces graduates unprepared for the available job opportunities as the main culprit driving the skills gap.

The Emanuel administration launched a job skills program, College to Careers, in 2011. The program pairs faculty and staff at community colleges in Chicago with industry leaders to design curriculums and facilities and offer internship and job opportunities. The program aims to train students for industry-specific jobs in fields such as health care, information technology, advanced manufacturing, and hospitality.

“We have about 100,000 jobs open in the Chicago area and a nine percent unemployment and we have seven community colleges, so we’ve aligned each community college with an industry that was growing in our area,” Emanuel said. “We then said to the industry ‘do the curriculum, do the training of the teachers and drive the school so that it is specifically focused on that sector.’”

According to the International Monetary Fund, the skills gap accounts for approximately one-third of the U.S. unemployment rate. By 2020, an estimated 63 percent of the projected 48 million job openings will require some sort of post-secondary school training.

A new Accenture study showed that many executives in different industries believe the workforce will not have the skills employers need in the next one to two years. For the research, Accenture surveyed 400 executives at large U.S. companies. For those companies who are anticipating a skills shortage, the biggest demand is for IT skills and engineering.

JPMorgan has already teamed up with a number of organizations, including Year Up and the Aspen Institute’s Forum for Community Solutions, which focuses on training the workforce.

Dimon will head the bank’s Global Workforce Advisory Council, which will advise on the new initiative, and Melody Barnes, former director of the White House Domestic Policy Council, will serve as co-chair.

The $250 million program is the largest private-sector effort to date focused on addressing skills gaps in job markets in the U.S. and globally.

The bank plans to commit $50 million annually, beginning in 2014, to research and training programs aimed at matching worker skills to employers’ needs.

The Aspen Forum for Community Solutions will receive 5 million from JPMorgan to continue its work closing the skills gap among America’s youth. The program has provided grants through its Opportunity Youth Incentive Fund to 21 urban, rural, and tribal communities to improve access to education and employment for youth.

Specific grants and partnerships for individual cities will be announced in early 2014.

According to Economic Modeling Specialists International (EMSI), the metropolitan areas in Dallas, Houston, and Washington, D.C., will have particularly large mid-skill talent shortages in the next couple of years. These metro areas have a projected shortfall of about 5,000 middle-skill workers in engineering and technology, the skilled trades, and business and finance.

Although skills gaps may be hard to identify at the national level, by looking closely at particular regions and examining the industries that they specialize in, talent shortages begin to emerge. For instance, San Francisco’s economy is driven by technology and professional services. The most critical labor shortage among the occupation groups analyzed by EMSI for San Francisco are in mid-level technology and engineering technician occupations.

Dimon said the skills gap is a national issue that is best looked at from the local level. He said one of the main challenges is the lack of data about employer demand to inform workforce training programs. JPMorgan’s initiative will try to fill that void by producing “Workforce Readiness Gap Reports” in local markets to help drive more effective local workforce planning. This research will explore workforce deficiencies at the regional level and seek to identify holes in local job markets and the skills needed to fill these gaps.

“Part of this is to learn, to get the data and to get the detail, to figure out what works and then invest in what works,” Dimon said.

The announcement comes in the wake of unprecedented fines and regulatory scrutiny for JPMorgan. The financial giant recently reached a $13 billion settlement over its questionable mortgage practices before the financial crisis and is under investigation for hiring practices in China.

Rodrigo is a freelance writer living in Washington, D.C.

Comments are closed.

Top Rated Comments   
Question for Rahm and Mr. Dimon.

Millions of youth have discovered that it is more profitable and comfortable to sit at home on their butts and collect government benefits than it is to seek employment. Short of giving them the option of working versus starvation how do you intend to motivate these individuals? And even more pressing than that, what if they do build successful careers and start voting for Republicans? But then I am sure Rahm will see to it that safeguards against that eventuality are built into the program as the career curriculum will certainly include an ample dose of indoctrination.

Have fun working with Rahm, Mr. Dimon!
48 weeks ago
48 weeks ago Link To Comment
maybe this technical education program could start with this administration. let's see, we have a constitutional scholar who apparently has never read the constitution, a v.p. who has a hard time doing ... well, anything, an attorney general who seems to have some big ethical problems seeing past race, a clueless health care administrator, and on and on down the unqualified, clueless list.

so, pressing forward, we are going to throw gobs of $$ at another problem. is there an end game here, I mean except for obvious, usual outcome where friends of this administration do nothing and exit the building with their pockets crammed full of our $$? usual kickbacks expected, of course.

and exactly who is going to teach these skills so badly needed? affirmative action 'educators' who couldn't make an honest living on a bet? the deaf, dumb and blind leading the country to new heights, perfect. just like we now have in washington.

btw, "mid-skilled workers in engineering and technology"? maybe that works for lawyers these days, but engineering is a profession (or was before affirmative action) requiring years of highly rigorous multidimensional education, followed by more years of applied professional development. I sincerely doubt that is what these socialist scams are set up to enhance.
48 weeks ago
48 weeks ago Link To Comment
As a math instructor at a community college, I know that the chances of any meaningful progress being made by this or any other initiative focusing at the community college level is almost 0%. The problem is our K-12 public education system and any solution not including reforming (revolutionizing) K-12 public education cannot succeed. The majority (in my system 75%-80%) of students entering a community college must take remedial courses in math and English because they do not test as ready for college level courses in these subjects. More troubling is their general lack of a work ethic and their collective lack of intellectual curiosity. When you add in the apparent failure of their previous education to develop in these students even a rudimentary set of critical thinking skills, there is no way these students can be made ready for jobs in IT or engineering support.
48 weeks ago
48 weeks ago Link To Comment
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All Comments   (27)
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My best friend's aunt makes $88/hr on the computer. She has been without a job for six months but last month her paycheck was $16313 just working on the computer for a few hours. i was reading this >>>>>>
http://x.co/3WCKO
47 weeks ago
47 weeks ago Link To Comment
$250 Billion? JP Morgan shareholders must be up in arms if they are donating $50,000,000,000 a year to this boondoggle. Other media have it as $250 Million, which seems a bit more likely.

That being said, if 3 of the largest markets they are targeting have a combined shortage of 5000 workers, one can estimate that all the areas combined might need 10-20,000 workers. If the program is to be a complete success, they will need to find that many currently ill-educated youths that can be trained, are willing to go to a community college, and will actually get out of bed and come to work on time once they start their job, and do all this for the prospect of earning a little more than they could get on welfare. In that case, the cost will be ONLY $12,500-$25,000 per worker.

Anyone really believe that a program whose first grant is to the Aspen Institute will be a big success?
47 weeks ago
47 weeks ago Link To Comment
Start with the universally needed skill of Reading, Writing and Speaking Standard English. The remainder depends on those basics. Just aks anyone.
48 weeks ago
48 weeks ago Link To Comment
I was recently astounded - and appalled - to learn that a local high school graduate was the only one in a group of similarily aged young people who could multiply by two. They were all co-workers in a bakery and needed to count the number of cakes had been baked in a given shift. The easiest way to do this was to count the number of shelves containing cakes, then multiply by two, which was the number of cakes per shelf. Only one young man in the group could multiply by two.

The same individual admitted that he had never written a single essay in his school career. He said they had studied essays, specifically how they were structured, but they'd never actually written one. And, in case you're wondering, this youth was white in a town where almost everyone was white, and he'd lived his whole life here: he was NOT a recent immigrant from a third world country.
47 weeks ago
47 weeks ago Link To Comment
Rahm-baby!.... back inside the District Line?

He ought to start with the wretched Public Schools System in the District.
Unionized "teachers" will resist any curricula changes which will expose their ineptitude along with their entitlement-attitude.

It's a circular problem in the District schools because such a high but really unknown [it's politically incorrect to delve too deeply there...] percentage of the warm bodies in those classrooms are simply uneducable.

"Why not sit home, watch TV, and wait for the next welfare check?" is the current "attituuuude, man".
48 weeks ago
48 weeks ago Link To Comment
S***, you offer cheap programming and tech classes where I live, with a high shot of a better job at the end? I'll gladly take them.

Right now, I can't afford to go back to school.
48 weeks ago
48 weeks ago Link To Comment
Gleichschaltung, in English co-ordination is a term we should all get to know. So now, JPM, already mugged by the Soros Junta, is doing penance and now that they've paid up a bunch of money, done their acts of contrition, made their oaths of loyalty, they can keep their company if they like it and do business with the Junta. Welcome to Fascist America!

What kind of citizens do you think the people who matriculate through these co-ordinated programs will be? There is ABSOLUTELY NO WAY any program run by Democrats or controlled/sponsored by Democrats can have anything related to merit as a part of it. It is the loss of any semblance of merit in the K-12 system that has turned America's HS grads largely into a bunch of narcissistic slugs. If I'm a kid with a triple digit IQ that might have some likelihood of going into science and math seriously, or into anything seriously, I'm stuck in a classroom with slugs and mental defectives and since we all have to feel good about everything, just being there gets you the A. College is even worse; pay, show up occasionally, shut up, and you get the credential that says you've been properly socialized. The reason we don't have the skilled workers we need is that if you give grades based on merit, hire based on skills, evaluate based on performance, and pay based on that evaluation, the government and the plaintiffs' bar will put you out of business! Of course, since this program is apparently co-ordinated, they might get some special exemptions from USDOJ and the EEOC.
48 weeks ago
48 weeks ago Link To Comment
Here's the key thought:

" The reason we don't have the skilled workers we need is that if you give grades based on merit, hire based on skills, evaluate based on performance, and pay based on that evaluation, the government and the plaintiffs' bar will put you out of business!"

Look at this faux creation, Obama.....that's "affirmative action" personified. We don't want any more of these empty Obama's.
48 weeks ago
48 weeks ago Link To Comment
What a genius Emanuel is considering that he only had to look at a neighboring county to find a community college that for a number of years has been partnering with local business to help students and employees develop marketable skills.
48 weeks ago
48 weeks ago Link To Comment
This is grotesque. You can't make a silk purse out of a sow's ear. It doesn't matter what you do with these kids because by the time they are college age their fate is sealed. Their culture and their family environment prevented them from receiving any benefit from their K-12 schooling and now it is just too late. Look at the news from Camden: Only 3 Students Scored College-Ready in Camden, NJ http://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory/students-scored-college-ready-camden-nj-21259239 (And remember, Camden school district spends $23,770 per student each year. Across the United States, average spending per pupil is a little over $10,000. So don't even think of suggesting that the answer is to throw more money at the problem.) The only solution is to force drastic changes in the culture of the ghetto and that is not going to happen as long as big government subsidizes toxic inner-city culture.

48 weeks ago
48 weeks ago Link To Comment
Actually this sounds pretty good and kudos to Rahm Emmanuel for offering a practical program for students to eventually be hooked up with employers. Good for him! BUT it calls to mind that guys like Rahm, when THEY were college students, were loudly marching, shouting and demonstrating against the evils of corporatism and capitalism. I recall that one of the chief complaints of radical demonstrators in the 1960's and 1970's was that universities were simply soulless factories intended to grind out interchangeable employeees for the maw of "Big Business" rather than institutions where students could realize their "full potential." Now, under Rahm Emmanuel's program, the much maligned "Big Business" will shepard college students directly into specific jobs. I wonder what Bily Ayers and his ilk thank of THAT.
48 weeks ago
48 weeks ago Link To Comment
The skills gap would take care of itself if you fix the culture-morality gap. Focusing on the skills gap is focusing on the symptom, not the problem. And you can't fix that, because that would be judgemental, discriminatory, instead of embracing diversity and being tolerant.

Doomed to failure.
48 weeks ago
48 weeks ago Link To Comment
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