JPMorgan Chase invests $1 million in IPS career academy programs

People walk past the JPMorgan Chase & Co. headquarters on Park Avenue, Thursday, Sept. 19, 2013, in New York. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)
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INDIANAPOLIS - JPMorgan Chase announced Wednesday they are investing $1 million in IPS, EmployIndy and JFF, a national nonprofit working to align education systems with the needs of the American workforce.

“Our rapidly-changing economy requires new skills to meet the growing needs of companies across the region,” said Al Smith, chairman of JPMorgan Chase in Indiana. “This public-private collaboration will create economic opportunity and career mobility. It’s an investment in Indianapolis’ most valuable resource ― our vibrant student population that will be better prepared to compete for well-paying careers and bright futures.”

IPS launched new college and career options as part of the new All-Choice High School Model at the start of this academic year. Under the new structure, students choose a high school based on their desired area of study as opposed to where they live. The restructuring created college and career pathways that help all students graduate on time and move on to one of three avenues of success: enroll in a two- or four-year college or university, enlist in the armed services or be employed at a livable wage. Research shows that students are more engaged and successful when robust academic options are combined with rigorous instruction and work-based learning opportunities.

“Having access to quality work-based learning opportunities will provide IPS students with the employability skills necessary to succeed beyond high school, in whatever path they choose,” said IPS Interim Superintendent Aleesia Johnson. “The generous investment by JPMorgan Chase will support the efforts of IPS and EmployIndy to ensure that all IPS students have access to meaningful work-based learning opportunities, and that employers have the ability to engage with our students — the future of our workforce.”

This investment will create a sustainable partnership and develop critical infrastructure, engaging employers in a sequence of experiential learning activities across all IPS college and career academies. JFF’s Pathways to Prosperity team will provide direct support and the capacity building needed to accomplish this work.

“The two-year commitment from JPMorgan Chase includes technical assistance from JFF to develop a clear vision, framework and strategic plan for EmployIndy to serve as the work-based learning intermediary in Indianapolis,” said Angela Carr Klitzsch, president and CEO of EmployIndy. “Our work together will establish essential infrastructure for EmployIndy to scale work-based learning in a robust and complex workforce development ecosystem.”

Eli Lilly and Company Foundation recently gave a $300,000 grant to IPS to support professional development, technology investment and youth employment at IPS’ Advanced Manufacturing, Engineering & Logistics Academy and Construction, Engineering & Design Academy. IU Health awarded $50,000 to support the Health Sciences Academy. And last year, Salesforce.org awarded $500,000 to support the Information Technology Academy, future centers at the district’s high schools, and business partnerships.