JPMorgan Chase has announced that it will be helping to fund a new two-year community college to prepare low-income Chicago residents for jobs in nursing and other high-demand fields. Instituto College is set to open this fall and is being developed by Instituto del Progreso Latino, a nonprofit organization that provides workforce development and other services to the city’s Latino community.

A $500,000 contribution from JPMorgan Chase will help provide free tuition for the first class of students as part of the $40 million investment the bank announced in 2017 to boost economic opportunity in Chicago’s underserved communities.

Whitney Smith, head of Midwest philanthropy for JPMorgan Chase, tells ChicagoTribune.com, “These are the kinds of programs that exemplify what those commitments are about. There is all this untapped potential that can drive our economy with the right kind of education and supports.”

Instituto College is focused on training graduates for a growing number of middle-income jobs that employers struggle to fill. JPMorgan Chase’s decision to fund the college is backed by Chase research that was released in 2015 showing that Chicago-area jobs pay well and require a high school degree and some further education but not a bachelor’s degree.

The college will launch with a class of 30 students pursuing an associate degree in nursing. The school’s target population includes immigrants with limited English and no high school education who usually can’t succeed in a traditional community college. The program will help build English skills and technical skills together, including offering services like financial coaching and job placement.

To learn more about JPMorgan Chase’s announcement to help fund a new community college targeting Chicago’s Latino community, visit here.

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