JPMorgan Chase Makes $7 Million Investment in the Future of Work in Nashville

Nashville, Tenn. (October 20, 2020) – Over a year ago, JPMorgan Chase announced a $350 million, five-year global initiative to prepare for the future of work and meet the growing demand for skilled workers. Today, Nashville is announced as one of six cities receiving funds with $7 million committed as part of the New Skills at Work investment which will provide substantial support to community college and other non-traditional career pathway programs and address systemic inequities.

This $7 million commitment in Nashville, Tenn., will accelerate the development of career pathways critical for the city’s rebounding economy. New Skills Ready program will support the seamless transition of underrepresented students from Metro Nashville Public Schools into Nashville State Community College to earn a credential or degree and enter a high-wage, high-demand career.

New Skills Ready will support a network of six U.S. sites, which are partnerships between local school systems, postsecondary institutions, intermediary organizations, employers and state education and workforce development agencies. Six cities are Nashville, Tenn.; Denver; Dallas; Columbus, Ohio; Boston and Indianapolis.

JPMorgan Chase marked this commitment during a virtual event today with Chairman and CEO, Jamie Dimon, joined by Mayor John Cooper and other special guests.

The project will address systemic inequities, barriers to Early Post-Secondary Opportunities (EPSOs) and Work-Based Learning (WBL), and challenges to postsecondary access, persistence, and success. The project will focus initially on four MNPS high schools - Whites Creek, Pearl-Cohn, Maplewood, Overton - each with high concentrations of students of color and students who are economically disadvantaged.

“Thanks to the support of JPMorgan Chase, we can provide even greater opportunities and pathways for our students so that they can leave high school and be prepared to succeed in our growing economy. Our partnerships with Nashville State and the Nashville Chamber will help to show our students their unlimited potential if they work hard and focus on their future success,” -- Dr. Adrienne Battle, Director, Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools

“Nashville has built a strong foundation for career and technical education. This investment will expand and enhance that important work to provide high-quality career pathways to students who had been left behind in Nashville’s powerful economic transformation,” says Erika Wright, Head of Philanthropy for JPMorgan Chase in Tennessee.

With cross-sector leadership from secondary, postsecondary, philanthropy, and the public and private sectors, this commitment will be stewarded by the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce alongside local partners. “We are excited to lead the New Skills Ready collaboration between MNPS, Nashville State, Middle Tennessee State University, Scarlett Family Foundation, Tennessee Department of Education, Tennessee Higher Education Commission, Tennessee Board of Regents and Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development and most importantly our employer community,” says Ralph Schulz, President and CEO of the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce. “The Chamber is thankful for JPMorgan Chase’s commitment to improving the education outcomes for Metropolitan Davidson county students. Building career pathways, work-based learning and pre-apprenticeships that align to in-demand high-wage careers will ensure our students are prepared to compete in the region’s growing economy building deeper prosperity for all.”

“We are really excited to see this grant invest in building innovative high school options that provide strong career pathway opportunities for students. As we work to set all students on a path to success, this grant will help Tennessee better understand practices and strategies to improve access to and success in career pathways, particularly for underserved students with the greatest needs. We are grateful for the local collaboration, and partnership with the JPMorgan Chase Foundation, who have made this possible.” -- Jean Luna, Chief of Programs, Tennessee Department of Education

“As Nashville's Community College, we are thankful to JPMorgan Chase for this significant investment to strengthen the communities we serve. The New Skills Ready resources will accelerate the alignment of career pathways for MNPS students to seamlessly transition to Nashville State. Nashville State is focused on student success and workforce development. This grant ensures our students have the right supports to stay on path to earning the education and skills critical to meet the needs of our diverse workforce.” – Dr. Shanna L. Jackson, President, Nashville State Community College

“The grant’s focus on expanding work-based learning opportunities aligns well with the key priorities of Tennessee’s workforce system. Over the past year, Tennessee’s State Workforce Board has made significant investments in expanding apprenticeship opportunities for adults and work-based learning experiences in secondary education. This new investment will greatly strengthen the region’s goal to increase credential attainment, especially for the citizens that face the greatest barriers to economic mobility. We are grateful for the support of, and productive partnership with, the JPMorgan Chase Foundation.” – Kenyatta Lovett, Assistant Commissioner for Workforce Services at the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development and is a member of the leadership team for the project

Nashville Lead Team
  • Dr. Adrienne Battle (MNPS)
  • Donna Gilley (MNPS)
  • Dr. Shanna Jackson (NSCC)
  • Dr. Nita Brooks (MTSU)
  • Victoria Harpool (THEC)
  • Bob Obrohta (TCASN)
  • Dr. Carol Puryear (TCAT)
  • Jerre Maynor (TDOE)
  • Dr. Kenyatta Lovett (TDWLD)
  • Katie Hazelwood (SFF)
  • Nancy Eisenbrandt (NACC)
  • Samantha Perez (NACC)


READ NEXT: Key Elements of the New Skills Ready Program

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