JPMorgan Chase Announces $40 Million Commitment to Create Economic Opportunity on Chicago’s South and West Sides

Long-term investment will focus on job skills training, revitalizing neighborhoods, investing in small businesses and improving financial health

CHICAGO--()--JPMorgan Chase & Co. today announced a $40 million investment over three years to create economic opportunity in Chicago’s underserved neighborhoods on the South and West Sides. A lack of opportunity is a root cause of Chicago’s gun violence, concentrated poverty, and persistent racial and economic inequities, so the firm’s investments will focus on key drivers of inclusive economic growth including jobs and skills development, small business expansion, neighborhood revitalization and financial health.

"Chicago is one of America’s greatest cities, but not every resident shares equally in the city’s economic growth,” said Jamie Dimon, Chairman and CEO, JPMorgan Chase. “It is on us – leaders in business – to step up, collaborate with government and the community and develop solutions where we have resources and expertise to offer. We believe in Chicago’s future and are hopeful our investment will help the city thrive and make opportunity available to every Chicagoan.”

How the Firm is Creating Economic Opportunity

JPMorgan Chase makes about $250 million in annual philanthropic investments to create opportunity across the U.S. and in 40 countries around the world. To ensure the greatest impact, the firm combines data with its business expertise—including human capital, management expertise, and partnerships—to create opportunity in underserved communities.

JPMorgan Chase’s investments in Chicago, Detroit and other cities focus on four strategic drivers of inclusive growth: preparing people for in-demand careers, helping small businesses expand, revitalizing neighborhoods, and improving financial health.

Over the last five years, the firm has developed several global initiatives based on these strategic drivers. These initiatives are specifically focused on equipping workers with critical skills, helping women and minority-owned entrepreneurs by providing them with the capital and expertise they need to grow, revitalizing underserved neighborhoods by investing in locally driven solutions and helping individuals get the skills and tools needed to build strong financial futures. JPMorgan Chase also actively seeks to use its most important asset—the expertise and commitment of the firm’s employees— to maximize the impact of its philanthropic investments and help nonprofit partners expand and better serve their communities.

“By bringing together a broad coalition of civic, corporate and community partners to create jobs and invest in neighborhoods, we can drive change that will last for generations,” said Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel. “Today we have the opportunity to build a powerful coalition with JPMorgan Chase that will create economic opportunities in communities across Chicago.”

In Chicago, the firm is bringing its experience addressing economic opportunity through these global initiatives to the South and West Sides. It is also applying lessons learned from its investments in Detroit and other cities, including collaborating with business, nonprofit, and government leaders and strengthening underlying organizations and systems, to create a more lasting community impact.

“JPMorgan Chase uses the same strategies that drive business success—innovation, ingenuity, and focus—to drive change most effectively in communities,” said Peter Scher, Head of Corporate Responsibility, JPMorgan Chase. “We look to see where we can move the needle and make the biggest difference, relying on data and the expertise of our people to strengthen our investments. In Chicago, we will take what we’ve learned in other cities to invest in the communities that have been left behind.”

Investment Priorities

The firm will focus its $40 million Chicago investment on these four key drivers of economic opportunity. To drive sustainable change in collaboration with others, the firm’s investment in these priority areas will help strengthen nonprofit organizations in many ways including helping to make them more financially resilient so that they can better serve low-income communities and communities of color.

  • Preparing Residents for In-Demand, Good Paying Jobs: To help address unemployment in some of Chicago’s South and West Side neighborhoods, which exceeds 30 percent, the firm is partnering with employers and training institutions, such as Advocate Healthcare, City Colleges of Chicago, the Brazier Foundation and Heartland Alliance’s Rapid Employment and Development Initiative. These programs work to help Chicagoans get the skills they need to secure high-quality jobs in growing fields like healthcare and advanced manufacturing. Also, the firm is expanding The Fellowship Initiative (TFI), an intensive academic leadership, mentoring and development program for young men of color from Chicago to prepare for college and their future careers. In total, 117 students from Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles and New York City graduated from TFI this year and are heading to college, 39 of which are from Chicago. Another 200 Fellows are currently in the program including 60 from Chicago.
  • Investing in Neighborhood Revitalization: According to analysis conducted by Next Street, there is an unmet need of $400 million in investment capital to rebuild and transform Chicago’s neighborhoods. To address this challenge, JPMorgan Chase is investing in the Chicago Community Loan Fund and Chicago Neighborhood Initiatives to finance critical projects that help turn around struggling neighborhoods. Going forward, financing will provide and leverage capital for residential, commercial and retail development projects that often lack access to conventional financing, spurring others to invest. Other support focuses on creating and preserving affordable housing through creative financing led by the Community Investment Corporation.
  • Growing Underserved Small Businesses: Small businesses act as engines that drive economic stability—creating jobs, contributing to vibrant neighborhoods, stimulating innovation and powering the regional economy. Yet research shows a lack of capital flowing into minority-owned businesses in Chicago. Working with Chase for Business, the firm’s business banking, merchant services and credit card arm that serves small businesses, this investment will help build a pipeline of lending referrals to external Community Development Financial Institutions, such as Accion, to help underserved businesses gain access to credit. The investment will also support the firm’s Ascend 2020 program to expand access to capital and technical assistance to primarily minority-owned small businesses and entrepreneurs.
  • Creating Financially Healthy Families: The firm is investing in financial capability programs that support innovative new products and services that leverage technology and insights to help consumers weather financial shocks through increased savings, improved credit and personal asset growth. Out of about 1 million Chicago households, 650,000 are financially insecure (less than $2,000 in savings), and 38 percent of residents have a subprime credit score, according to the Urban Institute. In Chicago, the firm’s support is strengthening families and communities by improving employment and racial equity outcomes and is building on its existing partnerships with the Center for Economic Progress and Ladder Up, The Resurrection Project, Mercy Housing Lakefront, Neighborhood Housing Services, and the University of Chicago Poverty Lab to improve financial health.

Leveraging Key JPMorgan Chase Assets

To support Chicagoans, the firm will leverage its most important assets including the expertise and commitment of their employees through the Service Corps and lines of business, data-driven analyses from the JPMorgan Chase Institute and financing through the firm’s Community Development Banking group for projects that expand economic opportunity.

The firm’s Community Development Banking group will commit $110 million over the next three years in financing for projects that expand opportunity and help revitalize key neighborhoods. The Community Development Banking group has significant experience deploying capital and credit for the creation of affordable housing, retail space and community facilities in Chicago’s most underserved communities. Past projects include the Chicago Center for Arts and Technology and the Salvation Army Freedom Center as well as health and recreation facilities such as PCC Medical Center and MetroSquash and affordable housing such as the Preservation of Affordable Housing buildings on the South side.

Also, the firm will continue to bring highly-skilled employees to Chicago to support nonprofits in key neighborhoods. The Service Corps, a three week, skills-based volunteer program, allows the firm’s top-performing employees to share their expertise with nonprofit partners to expand their community impact. The firm’s first Service Corps team in Chicago recently worked with BSD Industries, a robotics technician training program in the Woodlawn neighborhood, to create a viable expansion sourcing for the development of green cutlery. In total, 45 employees over the next few years will volunteer their expertise with key Chicago nonprofits.

Finally, the JPMorgan Chase Institute, a global think tank, draws on the firm’s unique proprietary data, expertise and market access to develop analyses and insights into local and global economies, including Chicago, as well as the financial habits of consumers and businesses to better inform decision makers.

Working Together for a Better Future

JPMorgan Chase strongly believes in forging partnerships among business, government and nonprofits to solve complex problems. As part of its investment in Chicago’s underserved neighborhoods, the firm will expand relationships and look for new opportunities to collaborate. Existing partnerships include the Chicago Community Loan Fund, Accion, and Brazier Foundation; business partners such as Boeing, Walmart and Advocate Healthcare; and the City of Chicago and Cook County leaders.

History of JPMorgan Chase in Chicago

JPMorgan Chase has an extensive history in Chicago with roots stretching back to 1863 when the First National Bank of Chicago was created. Currently, nearly 14,000 employees work in the Chicago area, supporting more than 5.8 million consumer customers, 470,000 business clients and nearly 360 branches. For more information visit:

JPMorgan Chase & Co. is a leading global financial services firm with assets of $2.6 trillion and operations worldwide. The Firm is a leader in investment banking, financial services for consumers and small businesses, commercial banking, financial transaction processing, and asset management. A component of the Dow Jones Industrial Average, JPMorgan Chase & Co. serves millions of customers in the United States and many of the world's most prominent corporate, institutional and government clients under its J.P. Morgan and Chase brands. Information about JPMorgan Chase & Co. is available at

Statements of Support

“By bringing together a broad coalition of civic, corporate and community partners to create jobs and invest in neighborhoods, we can drive change that will last for generations,” said Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel. “Today we have the opportunity to build a powerful coalition with JPMorgan Chase that will create economic opportunities in communities across Chicago.”

“We see the impact of unemployment every day in both the city and suburbs. It’s time to look at what programs are working in neighborhoods and invest more resources to expand and make a bigger difference,” said Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle. “I’m pleased that JPMorgan Chase plans to build on their existing investment to expand this public-private partnership that train more people to fill available jobs and support communities with the greatest needs.”

"It takes true partnership to turn good ideas into reality. We couldn’t give our students the opportunities they have without bringing the community, government leaders and our business partners to the table," said Alex Garza, Interim President & CEO, Instituto Del Progreso Latino.

“Thanks to the investment by JPMorgan Chase and our City of Chicago partners, we have been able to build an exciting new workforce training facility on the South side of Chicago. The training facility will provide robotics training for 120 residents per year and qualify them for hundreds of well-paying job opportunities across the country in this growth industry," said Dr. Byron Brazier, Founder, Brazier Foundation. "Our community partnership is already bearing fruit and new funders are already coming to the table with serious interest in our innovative program—that’s good news for us and good news for our entire community."

"Through its support of Advocate Health Care, JPMorgan Chase continues to provide the resources we need to offer meaningful career pathways for Chicagoans," said Clayton Pryor, Director of Workforce Development, Advocate Health Care. "Graduates of our program are from the neighborhoods where we serve, and after completing intensive training, they’re able to apply for jobs in our facilities around the city. It’s a special program that not only puts talented people to work and improves the quality of life, but also it ensures we continue providing exceptional quality care to our patients."

“Boeing has a long history in Chicago, and we’re proud to be engaging in this important conversation with JPMorgan Chase so we can effectively address the issue of unemployment impacting our local communities,” said Michael Cassel, Director of Boeing Global Engagement, The Boeing Company. “Driving innovation and investing in workforce development in the Chicagoland area is key to this effort – we are proud to lend our resources to help.”

“We are excited to collaborate with JPMorgan Chase and other funders to enhance the economic vitality of Chicago,” said Kathleen McLaughlin, Senior Vice President and Chief Sustainability Officer, Walmart. “We have been impressed by the impact of the company’s efforts in Detroit, and share their conviction that collective action involving business and philanthropy can accelerate transformation.”

“We care deeply about Chicago, and the contributions of significant financial institutions are critical to helping make it a better place for all. We welcome JPMorgan Chase’s exemplary commitment to investing in the city’s most precious resource—our people,” said Julia Stasch, President, MacArthur Foundation.

"The grant capital provided to us by JPMorgan Chase’s PRO Neighborhoods program has energized our local collaborative with resources to renovate nearly 600 units of affordable housing units in Chicago’s most economically depressed neighborhoods," said Calvin Holmes, President, Chicago Community Loan Fund. "Preserving and creating affordable housing has a measurable impact on neighborhoods – neighborhood contractors get work, property values improve, private investment in the area is multiplied and communities thrive at a faster pace."

"With support from JPMorgan Chase, Accion can serve more neighborhood entrepreneurs by providing the capital, coaching, and connections they need to grow. These small business owners then create jobs and wealth in their communities which reduces crime and increases hope," said Brad McConnell, CEO, Accion.

"In order to innovate you must educate," said Omar Duque, President and CEO, Illinois Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. "We are responsible, as leaders in the community, to provide economic opportunities and we’re glad JPMorgan Chase has expanded its philanthropic commitment to Chicago because we will be able to do more as a result.”

"Urban is deeply committed to using data-driven research to determine how public policies impact people’s daily lives in Chicago," said Sarah Rosen Wartell, President, Urban Institute. "Our Cost of Segregation study demonstrates, unmistakably, that economic segregation impedes economic progress."

"We have to be just as honest about the challenge of violent crime in Chicago as we are bold in our approaches to turning it around," said Evelyn Diaz, President, Heartland Alliance. “If we know who is at-risk and where to find them, we can pool our resources to target these individuals with the job training and cognitive-behavioral therapy they need to build a new future for themselves. It’s a simple but powerful idea, and we are proud to partner with JPMorgan Chase to demonstrate its real potential in Chicago’s most violent communities.”

"Change comes after you combine good ideas with strong leadership," said Derek Douglas, Vice President for Civic Engagement, University of Chicago. "We’re proud to play a part in building the leadership talent pool in Chicago with the help of JPMorgan Chase."

"For more than 100 years, the Chicago Urban League has promoted social and economic advancement for Chicago's African American citizens. As such, I value JPMorgan Chase's partnership and commitment to advancing racial equity in our city," said Shari Runner, President and CEO, The Chicago Urban League.

“Through the Blackstone Inclusive Entrepreneurship Challenge, we are proud to promote and support solutions for more inclusive access to entrepreneurial resources, and join JPMorgan Chase and other partners in these efforts in Chicago,” said Amy Stursberg, Executive Director, Blackstone Charitable Foundation.


JPMorgan Chase & Co.
Stephanie Bosh
Christine Holevas


JPMorgan Chase & Co.
Stephanie Bosh
Christine Holevas