JPMorgan Chase Invests $225,000 in University City District to Support Economic Opportunity for Local Residents

Tuesday, April 10, 2018


For Immediate Release

Contact: Alissa Weiss, Director of Strategic Initiatives and Communications, 215-243-0555 x251 or [email protected]


JPMorgan Chase Invests $225,000 in University City District to Support Economic Opportunity for Local Residents

Leaders Gather for Grant Announcement to Share Perspectives on Growth and Opportunity in University City Economy


(April 6, Philadelphia, PA) – Today, JPMorgan Chase & Co. announced a $225,000 grant to University City District (UCD), the economic development organization serving West Philadelphia, at a presentation and symposium. The funds will help fuel the West Philadelphia Skills Initiative (WPSI) job training program and support the organization’s efforts to leverage University City institutions’ purchasing power to connect local residents to economic opportunity.

JPMorgan Chase has invested $350 million to support skill building around the globe through New Skills at Work, its initiative to create more opportunities for workers to obtain well-paying, middle-skill jobs. The firm is supporting efforts like UCD’s that focus on developing talent and best-in-class training that create pathways to increased economic opportunity.

The investment will support the growth of UCD’s nationally recognized job training program, the West Philadelphia Skills Initiative. Through its cutting-edge soft skills curriculum, the Skills Initiative prepares and connects the unemployed to work while helping employer partners find and retain the talent they need. Since launching the program in 2011, the Skills Initiative has served approximately 800 individuals, and has placed over 90% of its graduates in jobs that pay family-sustaining wages, while offering opportunities for growth and advancement. Over time, the program has generated $15.4 million in wages for previously unemployed West Philadelphians. With JPMorgan Chase’s support, the West Philadelphia Skills Initiative plans to serve more employers and jobseekers, and explore employment opportunities fueled by the $3 billion purchasing power of University City institutions.

The grant announcement and discussion, held at University City Science Center’s Quorum, featured remarks from UCD President Matt Bergheiser; JPMorgan Chase’s Gerry Murphy, Industry Manager of Healthcare, Higher Education & Not-for-Profits and Commercial Banking; and Jennie Sparandara, Executive Director of Global Philanthropy, followed by two panel discussions. The first discussion, moderated by UCD Board Chair and Executive Vice President of the University of Pennsylvania Craig Carnaroli, featured PIDC’s President John Grady, Allied Universal’s District Portfolio Manager Yaya Diakite, and CHOP’s Senior Recruiting Manager Joyce Yeager discussing Philadelphia as a city of growth, and how employers interact with the Skills Initiative to recruit and retain local talent. Joyce Bacon – a WPSI graduate and current Program Manager – then moderated a discussion between three WPSI graduates, Xia Frazier, Eric Still and Christina Garland-McCall, about their experience in the program, their current careers and future aspirations.

“At JPMorgan Chase, we understand that connecting people with local economic opportunities can make a tremendous impact on a community,” said John Emery, Managing Director, Philadelphia Market Leadership Chair, JPMorgan Chase. “We’re proud to support the work of UCD and look forward to seeing the impact of this grant on the West Philadelphia community.”

“University City is at a unique moment of economic possibility, and we are grateful to work with partners like JPMorgan Chase to ensure that we are connecting talented West Philadelphians to the opportunities afforded by growth,” said Matt Bergheiser, President of University City District. “With this investment, we will continue to leverage institutional hiring and purchasing power to create life-changing job opportunities for local residents.”


About the University City District: UCD promotes a world class, vibrant University City through major investments in public space development, public maintenance and public safety, by connecting entrepreneurs and residents to economic opportunity, and through the creation and management of destination events. The mission of the West Philadelphia Skills Initiative is to connect West Philadelphia employers seeking talent to West Philadelphians seeking opportunity to build local workforce capacity and to support people in realizing their full economic potential. For more information, see:


About JPMorgan Chase & Co: JPMorgan Chase & Co. is a leading global financial services firm with assets of $2.5 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

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