JP Morgan Chase Pushes Job Training in Healthcare, Manufacturing

Unemployment remains high across the globe, yet recent data reveals that employers are having trouble finding workers in key sectors. As part of our five-year, $250 million New Skills at Work initiative, JP Morgan Chase is releasing a series of skills gap reports in nine metro areas in the United States, as well as data reports for France, Germany, Spain and the UK. The reports focus on middle skills jobs – those that require a high school degree and technical training but not a BA diploma.

On April 16, 2015, JP Morgan Chase released the Detroit Skills Gap Report, which shows that after suffering severe job losses from the decline of the auto industry and feeling the effects of the city's bankruptcy, the regional economy is stabilizing and employment is growing again.

Chase found that 6,000 jobs in health care and manufacturing will open up annually between now and 2018 in metropolitan Detroit. But many area residents lack the basic academic and job readiness training to take advantage of these well-paying job opportunities. As a result, middle-skill job postings in health care and manufacturing go unfilled for over a month on average.
With this data, Chase is working with community partners like Focus: HOPE and Macomb Community College to expand workforce development and training programs.

"Detroit's continued economic growth is tied to the quality of its workforce," said Chauncy Lennon, JPMorgan Chase's head of workforce initiatives. "This report seeks to help the middle-skill workers identify pathways to well-paying jobs, which will expand the number of qualified workers and attract new business opportunities to accelerate Detroit's growth."

"There is an increasing number of good paying jobs available in Detroit, but many residents lack the required skills to be eligible for them," Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan said in a statement released with the Chase report. "JPMorgan Chase's report identifies ways businesses, educators and the city can do a better job of providing Detroiters the training and skills they need to take advantage of these opportunities."

Health care and manufacturing represent a significant part of the increase in demand for middle-skill workers, which the Chase report defined as people with more than a high school degree but less than a bachelor's degree.
The report suggests that these job openings and Detroit's aging workforce are combining to create significant opportunities for new workers. According to the report, approximately 22% of all healthcare and manufacturing employees are 55 years or older and will be leaving the workforce.
The Chase report offers several recommendations: Regional leaders should develop a regional master plan to prepare Detroit residents for middle-skill jobs in high demand sectors. Also, leaders should create a "employer-endorsed curriculum" to prepare students to be workforce ready. And various workforce development efforts must align with what employers actually want in new hires.

"Seizing the opportunities that high-demand, well-paying middle-skill jobs provide is critical to retooling the economic vitality and growth of southeast Michigan," James Jacobs, president of Macomb Community College, said in a statement released with the report. "We applaud JPMorgan Chase's commitment to helping regional efforts in driving collaboration among business, industry and education to bolster a viable career pathways system and to providing resources to support.