This summer, students are planning their own return to the office

Managing Director, Regional Director of Chase, New Jersey

With offices and workplaces closed during the pandemic, many young people looking for work experience to boost their resumes were shut out. But that didn’t mean opportunity didn’t exist. Who else could better weather this storm than the Gen Z or Zoomer generation?

Despite many young people defining their generation with the name of a video conference call app, the last two years saw the lowest levels of youth summer employment since the Great Recession, hitting young people from lower-income families especially.

For many people ages 16 to 24, having a summer work experience is the first opportunity to get a taste of professional life, learn and build skills, create connections and start a career journey.

JPMorgan Chase who has long been committed to ensuring that young people find meaningful first employment opportunities, just announced a new $20 million, five-year commitment to support Summer Youth Employment Programs in 24 U.S. cities starting this summer. This commitment will help young adults – especially those living in underserved communities — gain meaningful work experience and set them on a quality career pathway.

And as the regional director for Chase branches throughout New Jersey, I am proud to announce that we are committing to this program in 2022 and supporting the City of Newark’s Summer Youth Employment Program. The jobs supported by this summer youth employment program will expand skill-based and career-specific employment and training opportunities, while giving young employees the experience they need to gain new skills and prepare them for the future of work.

In addition to creating new job opportunities for young workers, these summer work experiences are a great way to develop early/foundational work skills; create a professional network of contacts; and earn college credentials and/or credits, if applicable.

Today’s young people need more education and higherquality work experiences to enter into the workforce and access a successful career path to support themselves, their families and communities. The current challenges created by the pandemic along with increasing uncertainty in the economy means that young people face higher barriers to reaching long-term quality jobs.

By investing in local community partners and advancing policy solutions, thousands of young adults from across the country will benefit from having experiences at a critical age that can lead to a bright future.

Our young people are the next generation of leaders and they need our help. While we expect them to learn from us, we also have much to learn from them. They see the world differently than their older counterparts and bring a perspective that continues to give us hope for the future.

That’s why today’s government, community and business leaders should make these types of investments for our next generation. They create stronger, more resilient communities where economic opportunity is accessible for everyone, regardless of background. That is exactly the type of future we should all want.

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