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New initiative could create Chicago healthcare jobs

Posted on January 2, 2014

A huge private workforce initiative aimed at closing the skills gap is creating buzz and could potentially boost and create Chicago healthcare jobs, among many other jobs.

JPMorgan Chase & Co. said it is committing $15 million toward workforce readiness and demand-driven training in Chicago, as part of its unprecedented five-year, $250 million global New Skills at Work initiative.

New Skills at Work is a private-sector effort aimed at addressing the “skills gap” that exists across many industries, such as healthcare and advanced manufacturing, where not enough trained workers have the specific skills to fill the jobs available.

New Skills at Work will accelerate economic growth by supporting training programs that will have the greatest impact.

New Skills at Work will provide much-needed data about employer demand to better inform workforce training programs and help drive more effective and strategic local workforce planning. The initiative will produce Workforce Readiness Gap Reports that will explore workforce deficiencies and challenges specifically in the Chicago area and seek to identify holes in local job markets and the skills needed to fill identified gaps. The data will be used to inform program development efforts with all stakeholders – the business groups and sector associations as well as leading national workforce training groups.

“Addressing the skills gap is critical to reduce unemployment in Chicago and create a more stable, growing economy,” said Jamie Dimon, chairman and chief executive officer of JPMorgan Chase. “JPMorgan is using its best assets, including industry intelligence and strong partnerships in Chicago, to provide a platform for employers, educators and workforce participants to help people gain the skills they need to succeed.”

“We have long supported the skills training and development work of high-impact organizations throughout the Chicago area,” said Glenn Tilton, Chairman of the Midwest, JPMorgan Chase. “And we are pleased to make Chicago one of the inaugural cities of New Skills at Work, which aims to train people for the jobs that are available – today and tomorrow. Our data-driven approach will better equip organizations to serve the community and help people get the skills they need to succeed. Mayor Emanuel has been a national leader in skills training and we are looking forward to working together to help more people get jobs.” In addition to his role with JPMorgan Chase, Tilton is a director of World Business Chicago and the board chair for Skills for Chicagoland’s Future.

“I am grateful to JPMorgan Chase for believing in the city of Chicago and making this strong commitment that will foster opportunity throughout our city,” said Mayor Emanuel. “Helping people obtain the training and resources they need to be able to find the jobs that are available is a key area of focus for my administration. I am confident this program will build on the success we’ve seen with our programs here in Chicago.”