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New Job Initiative from JPMorgan Chase
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JPMorgan’s chairman and chief executive has plans to announce “New Skills at Work,” a five-year, $250 million initiative focused on filling the skills gaps in some of the largest United States and European job markets, including New York, Chicago, Los Angeles and London. The plan comes at a time when JPMorgan is facing unprecedented fines and regulatory scrutiny. It recently reached a $13 billion settlement over its questionable mortgage practices in the run-up to the financial crisis and is under investigation for its hiring practices in China. The five-year, $250 million initiative is focused on filling the skills gaps in some of the largest United States and European job markets. Undergoing a new philanthropy initiative after suffering a reputational blow is not an uncommon thing to see on Wall Street.
The New York Times reports that while 7 percent of the American labor force was unemployed as of November, employers are taking longer to fill open jobs. Steven J. Davis, a professor at the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business stated, “Usually when we have a slack labor market, employers fill their openings fairly quickly.” The average job vacancy so far this year has been 22.4 days, Mr. Davis reported, and that is compared with 20 days between 2004 and 2006, when the economy was stronger. He added, “That’s not happening now.”
On Thursday, Mr. Emanuel and Jamie Dimon, JPMorgan’s chairman and chief executive, plan to announce “New Skills at Work.” Mr. Dimon dismissed a connection between the bank’s recent troubles and its jobs initiative. JPMorgan Chase plans to commit $50 million annually, beginning in 2014, to research and training programs across the country and in Europe. It also plans to arrange meetings between groups that train people for jobs and the employers who need specific skills. The bank has already teamed up with a number of organizations, including Year Up and the Aspen Institute’s Forum for Community Solutions, a national workforce training group. It plans to announce specific grants and partnerships early next year.

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