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JPMorgan Chase Joins Second Chance Efforts to Reduce Obstacles to Employment

JPMorgan Chase is expanding its commitment to giving people with criminal backgrounds a second chance by supporting their reentry into the workforce, community and local economies. The firm today lays out a new public policy agenda, invests more in communities and enhances its own hiring strategy in collaboration with other businesses to create economic opportunity for more people.

The unemployment rate is an estimated 27 percent for the roughly 5 million formerly incarcerated people in the U.S. — more than five times the overall national rate — and research shows that over 600,000 people are released each year from prison. Policymakers and businesses increasingly recognize that providing education, skills training and employment opportunities to people with arrest or conviction histories helps reduce recidivism, increase public safety, build stronger communities and strengthen the economy.

JPMorgan Chase’s new efforts apply lessons learned and best practices as a major employer and from its community investments in cities like Detroit and Chicago. Specifically, the firm will apply its business resources and expertise — including data, research, talent and philanthropic investments — and collaborate with policy, business and community leaders to address the socioeconomic costs of barriers to employment for people with arrest or conviction histories.

The firm will help people with criminal backgrounds build in-demand skills and gain access to employment by:

  1. Public Policy Agenda: Advancing a public policy agenda through the new JPMorgan Chase PolicyCenter that reduces barriers to employment for people with criminal backgrounds;

  2. Community Investments: Making new community investments to support people with criminal backgrounds in cities like Chicago, Detroit, Nashville, New York, Seattle and Wilmington, Delaware that focus on career development, financial health and entrepreneurship, and encourage more companies in growing industries to hire them; and

  3. Hiring: JPMorgan Chase “banned the box” by proactively removing all questions about criminal backgrounds from job applications and is now enhancing its strategy to attract a broader applicant pool, including people with criminal backgrounds.

“Business has a responsibility to partner with policy, business and community leaders to create an economy that works for more people. When someone cannot get their foot in the door to compete for a job, it is bad for business and bad for communities that need access to economic opportunity,” said JPMorgan Chase Chairman and CEO Jamie Dimon. “Giving more people a second chance allows businesses to step-up and do their part to reduce recidivism, hire talented workers, and strengthen the economy.”

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