- JPMorgan Chase & Co. will invest $3 million in more than 20 U.S. cities to promote access to summer employment programs for young people, the company said in a statement to HR Dive.
- The investment is part of the company's ongoing five-year financial commitment that began in 2017 with the aim of creating "skills-based" work positions for U.S. high school students. During the COVID-19 pandemic, JP Morgan Chase said it is focused on investing in virtual learning experiences, career mentoring and similar opportunities as ways to provide postsecondary options that can lead to careers for students.
- JPMorgan Chase's statement included information on collaborations based in specific cities as part of the investment. In Detroit, for example, the company is working with Grow Detroit's Young Talent to offer a six-week virtual summer work experience to 8,000 students. And in Louisville, Kentucky, a collaboration with local program SummerWorks will provide wages to low-income high school students for virtual, summer internships.
As extensively as COVID-19 has impacted the U.S. labor market, it has also disrupted traditional career pathways for younger workers. An April survey of college students by polling site College Reaction found the majority of respondents had seen internships or post-graduate jobs they secured either canceled, moved remote or delayed due to the pandemic.
There are many considerations for which employers must account when deciding what changes to make to their programs this summer, sources previously told HR Dive. But outright cancelation could impact long-term recruiting strategy, particularly if an organization is dependent on interns to fill open positions. Young people also may lose out on funds and opportunities that could otherwise position them for successful careers.
"The combination of the pandemic and persistent systemic racial injustice is significantly impacting under resourced communities and especially young people," Linda M. Rodríguez, JP Morgan Chase's executive director, global philanthropy, said in the statement emailed to HR Dive. "This year, young people are especially eager for summer jobs that can provide critical income to support themselves and their families."
Equity is another aspect of training that employers have focused within the contexts of both the pandemic as well as ongoing protests against systemic racism. Such companies include Twitter, which announced in June a commitment to be "even more deliberate" about building a diverse talent pipeline during and after the pandemic. Companies can make their training, mentorship and advancement programs more equitable by creating standardized career road maps, seeking partnerships with D&I-focused organizations and recognizing diverse talent strategy as a competitive advantage.
Additionally, employers that have decided to move their programs for interns and younger talent to a virtual basis can ensure a smooth transition by standardizing technology and building support systems for participants. Some companies have even created new internal roles that provide mentorship and guidance for interns. Employers might also consider continuing to provide stipends and other payments that would otherwise be offered to younger workers so as to ensure those who need such payments are not disadvantaged.