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JPMorgan Chase & Co. Commits $1.3 Million to Put Houston’s Disconnected Youth on Track for College and Career Success
News RElease
Thursday, January 31, 2019

Trellis Foundation contributes $250,000 to reach the untapped potential of aspiring young adults

Houston – JPMorgan Chase & Co. has committed $1.3 million to help Houston area’s disconnected youth – which includes more than 111,000 local young people aged 16 to 24 who are not employed or enrolled in school - access the education and skills they need to succeed. 

Local research by Rice University confirms that despite significant barriers, many disconnected youth are looking to complete school, have meaningful careers and build strong families. The success of this group, estimated to be 14 percent of the local population in this age bracket, is critical to Houston’s economic growth. The cost of inaction to support this population could be as much as $30 billion.

“I am deeply grateful to Chairman Dimon and Chase for enabling the city of Houston to continue our remarkable streak of attracting private sector resources to lift up our community and ensure that we thrive,” said Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner. “This gift helps to pursue our intentional efforts to connect youth, under-resourced communities, and disenfranchised members of the labor force to opportunities for advancement, economic empowerment, and ultimately, dignity. Together, we can continue to rebuild and strengthen the lives of Houstonians in sustainable ways.”

Educate Texas at Communities Foundation of Texas is leading the innovative Bridge to College and Career Success pilot initiative with national partner Jobs For the Future (JFF) as the technical assistance provider. The initiative accelerates the formation of cross-sector partnerships between community organizations, community colleges and local employers to re-engage disconnected youth into local, high growth career pathways such as healthcare, advanced manufacturing and construction. The partnerships will guide youth and young adults as they prepare for workforce training and community college, monitor their progress and provide additional necessary support so they are able to graduate.

“This is a moral and economic crisis. Without the right skills or education, young people are stuck in low-skills, low-wage jobs or unemployed and employers lack the skilled workers they need to support Houston’s economy. Here in Houston, we’re investing in high-quality, career-focused education programs so that more young people have a real shot at a better life for themselves and their families,” said Jamie Dimon, Chairman and CEO of JPMorgan Chase & Co. 

The effort also is getting $250,000 commitment from the Trellis Foundation, which has helped Texas students and families pursue their educational and career dreams for 40 years.

“Connecting education and work is critically important for the success of students and our communities at large,” said Kristin Boyer, executive director of the Trellis Foundation. “We’re delighted to help support the efforts underway in the Houston region, and we’re particularly impressed by the strength and number of partners involved.”

There are an estimated 480,000 disconnected youth across Texas, with almost one in four living in the Gulf Coast region.

“We are excited to partner with JPMorgan Chase and Trellis to prioritize and identify paths to reengage our disconnected youth in the Gulf Coast region. Working alongside our local partnerships, we will develop solutions to our education and workforce systems that will put our youth back on track for a bright future,” said George Tang, managing director, Educate Texas.

According to Georgetown University’s Center on Education and the Workforce, more than half of all jobs in Houston require some education beyond high school.

Helping Houston’s disconnected youth overcome barriers such as poverty and parenting responsibilities requires a variety of innovative approaches. Each of the four partnerships supported by these investments designed creative and youth-centered solutions to help young adults make their way back to education and employment in Houston’s growing industries. The four partnerships include:

·       Capital IDEA, in partnership with Houston Community College Southeast, developed the “Career My Way” program, which emphasizes self-discovery, career exploration and academic preparation in the following employment sectors: Healthcare, Advanced Manufacturing, Commercial and Industrial Construction, Ports and Maritime, among others.

·       Project GRAD, in partnership with the Houston Community College System, is introducing “GRADcafé on the GO”, a mobile advising center that helps Houstonians get into and complete college and career training, focusing on neighborhoods with high concentrations of disconnected youth.

·       SERJobs, with its employer partners Gutier Construction and Marek Bros., is serving as the “employer of record” for paid internships and work-based learning; employers are involved in curriculum design, ongoing mentorship and leadership development.

·       Baylor Teen Health Clinic, in partnership with Baylor College of Medicine, established the Ascend Program to help meet the high demand for middle-skill employees at the Texas Medical Center by recruiting and training young adults who come to the clinics for health services. This initiative will greatly expand that effort to place these young people in entry- and middle-skills jobs with the promise of career advancement.

“Baylor College of Medicine recognizes that serving the community, one of our major areas of focus, goes beyond providing medical care. The Baylor Teen Health Clinics are a perfect example of how our faculty and staff see health as more than just physical health,” said Dr. Paul Klotman, president, CEO and executive dean of Baylor College of Medicine. “This new collaboration with JPMorgan Chase, Educate Texas and the Trellis Foundation is a natural extension of our efforts and will have significant impact by helping youth in our community gain secure employment, earn living wages and have access to career advancement.”

To address critical workforce issues around the world, JPMorgan Chase has invested more than $350 million to support skill building and job training worldwide. This includes the New Skills for Youth initiative, a $75 million program to help solve the youth unemployment crisis and provide them with the skills they need to succeed. With this commitment, JPMorgan Chase has provided more than $7 million to fund workforce programs in Houston.

JPMorgan Chase’s Commitment to Houston

Chase is the largest financial institution in Texas, employing more than 24,000 people across the state. Chase has 10 million consumer customers statewide and serves 780,000 business clients. Chase has more than 200 local branches and more than 6,000 Houston employees.

After Hurricane Harvey, JPMorgan Chase & Co. provided more than $30 million in immediate relief, including discounted auto loans and mortgages, as well as $6 million in company- and employee-donations to nonprofits focused in the Houston area.

About Educate Texas

Educate Texas, an initiative of Communities Foundation of Texas, has partnered with public and private entities for more than a decade to transform the Texas public and higher education systems so that every student is prepared for success in school, the workforce and life.

In addition to Bridge to College and Career Success, Educate Texas’ efforts in the Greater Houston Gulf Coast region include work supporting Texas Regional STEM Degree Accelerator, Harvey HELP and Harvey KIDS disaster relief education funds, Texas College Access Network and the Texas Education Agency’s College and Career Readiness Models Network of T-STEM Academies, Early College High Schools and Industry Cluster Innovative Academies.

About the Trellis Foundation

Founded by Trellis Company (formerly TG), Trellis Foundation is a grantmaking public charitable organization built on a 40-year heritage of helping students achieve their educational and career goals. The Foundation focuses on improving postsecondary attainment for low- to moderate-income students who may not otherwise have an opportunity to earn a credential or degree.





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