Denver Students Receive $7 Million Investment to Further Career Readiness

Mar. 4, 2020


JPMorgan Chase & Co. Continues Helping Prepare Students for High-wage, In-demand Jobs


Denver is the first of 10 sites around the globe to receive a multimillion-dollar investment from JPMorgan Chase’s New Skills for Youth initiative, which is transforming the design and delivery of career-focused education. This generous $7 million grant is in addition to the $4 million JPMorgan Chase awarded the district four years ago, enabling DPS to dramatically increase the number of students completing high-quality career pathways. 

“Too many young people are being left behind without the education, skills and experience needed to get well-paying jobs,” said Jamie Dimon, Chairman and CEO of JPMorgan Chase. “Now, more than ever, businesses, government, and communities must work together to prepare young people for the future of work so they have a better shot at building a good financial life for themselves and their families.” 

The JPMorgan Chase grant will help DPS to continue its work removing barriers to career opportunities, so that all students have equitable access to high-skill, high-wage and in-demand careers. DPS will use the funds to prepare students for well-paying careers projected to have job growth in Colorado —  including healthcare, business, Information Technology (IT) and cybersecurity — as identified by the Colorado Workforce Development Council’s annual Colorado Talent Pipeline Report. As a result, DPS plans to create seamless connections for students from high school to higher education to rewarding careers. 

“Thanks to the massive support from funders like JPMorgan Chase and our community partners, we’ve been able to focus on helping our students develop employability skills while in high school, to give them a powerful competitive advantage when they enter the job market,” said Superintendent Susana Cordova. “We know there are many, many deserving cities and districts across our country, and we are so humbled and honored that you selected us to be the recipient of this grant.” 


Continued investment has positive impact on DPS students

With support from JPMorgan Chase, the Denver Education Attainment Network (DEAN), the Colorado Department of Higher Education (CDHE) and our college and community partners, DPS has significantly expanded access to higher education and real-world work experiences over the last five years. DPS has now created the nation’s largest district-run work-based learning program, called CareerConnect, which has significantly increased industry credential and college credit options available to students. Recent data shows students enrolled in CareerConnect are over 40% more likely to graduate than their peers.      

JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon with Pinnacol Assurance CEO Phil Kalin, staff and apprentices at Pinnacol.

JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon with Pinnacol Assurance CEO Phil Kalin, staff and apprentices at Pinnacol.

This funding also made it possible for DPS to launch the first-of-its kind apprenticeship system for high school students through a partnership with CareerWise Colorado. Students credit the apprenticeship program for being life changing. “I’m an apprentice at Pinnacol, and I belong here. Working 20 hours a week while taking college and high school classes in my apprenticeship has taught me patience, organization and time management. I’m learning so much about law and my goal is to become an immigration lawyer,” said Angela Mendoza-Rico, from Northeast Early College, as she addressed the crowd during the press conference, which included her beaming parents and her supervisor at Pinnacol. Angela won Colorado’s Outstanding Apprentice Award.

JPMorgan’s New Skills for Youth initiative brings together businesses, government and schools in collaboration to solve deep problems that come from unemployment due to a skills and education gap. According to the 2019 Colorado Talent Pipeline Report, over 86 percent of Colorado’s top tier 1  jobs — like pharmacists, civil engineers or dental hygienists — require postsecondary education. With the work experience, credentials and college offerings, students in DPS will be able to access better paying jobs and more opportunities. 

Thank you to JPMorgan Chase and our partners throughout the city for believing in DPS students and supporting their career dreams.