March 18 (UPI) -- JPMorgan Chase announced Monday a $350 million initiative to train people on skills for the future job market.
The so-called New Skills at Work program focuses on providing the training in underserved communities and improving training programs at community colleges. The idea is to provide upward mobility to Americans with economic hardships.
"The new world of work is about skills, not necessarily degrees," CEO Jamie Dimon said. "Unfortunately, too many people are stuck in low-skill jobs that have no future and too many businesses cannot find the skilled workers they need."
Speaking at JPMorgan Chase's New York City headquarters, Dimon the U.S. economy has been split in two -- those who benefit from prospering corporations and those "left behind."
"Forty percent of Americans make less than $15 an hour. Forty percent of Americans can't afford a $400 bill, whether it's medical or fixing their car. Fifteen percent of Americans make minimum wages, 70,000 die from opioids" annually, he said.
"Companies have to be involved," Dimon said. "Businesses can bypass all these parts of society that have been suffering a little bit because they do it themselves. They have their own schools, their own training, their own everything."
Of the $350 million set aside for the initiative, $125 million will go toward strengthening education and training systems, directly linking employers and educators to ensure students are learning the job skills needed to succeed. Some $200 million will go toward developing new training and education programs, and $25 million will go toward distributing labor market data to assist investment decisions.