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$2.5M JPMorgan Chase grant to expand opportunity
In an unprecedented partnership with the Columbus region, JPMorgan Chase announced today a $2.5 million dollar commitment to expand The Central Ohio Compact – a regional education and jobs initiative led by Columbus State.
The grant is part of Chase's five-year, $250 million global New Skills at Work initiative.
New Skills at Work is the largest ever 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. Columbus is one of nine investment markets for the initiative.
"This is the largest single grant made in Ohio in the past 15 years," says Eric Schuppenhauer, senior vice president at JPMorgan Chase. "We are committed to investing in the communities where we live and do business. We are proud to support Columbus State and their efforts to create opportunity throughout our great city."
The grant will help advance the work of The Central Ohio Compact, a regional collaborative of dozens of school districts, higher education institutions, business and civic partners formed in 2011. Spearheaded by Columbus State, the Compact has initiated a series of regional strategies to ensure students graduate high school ready for college -- and obtain the degrees or credentials they need for a job.
Funding from JPMorgan Chase will enable the Compact to work with local employers to identify and develop new education and training programs, and raise community awareness of postsecondary career opportunities.
"Our students are our highest priority. We strive to prepare them for academic achievement and career success," says Columbus State President David Harrison. "We are grateful to JPMorgan Chase for their leadership and commitment. This grant will accelerate the alignment of regional workforce and education efforts to develop programs based on local labor market needs."
In 2012, The Central Ohio Compact adopted The Lumina Foundation's goal of having 60 percent of Ohioans obtain a postsecondary degree or certificate by 2025.
Through its collective approach, the Central Ohio Compact strives to achieve that goal by employing specific, targeted strategies for underserved adults, low-income and first-generation college students, and students of color. It also addresses the region's need for a highly skilled workforce by aligning with regional workforce and educational efforts.