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Jamie Dimon calls for fair and far-reaching job training efforts at Globe Summit

The Wednesday session, moderated by Hack.Diversity Co-Founder and President Jody Rose, featured three business leaders sharing their insights on what employers, educational institutions and government can do to prepare future generations. of workers.

The dilemma, panelists agreed, is determining the best ways to impart the necessary skills. Apprenticeships in growing sectors, such as health care and data science, are a way for workers to “learn and earn at the same time,” said Rosalin Acosta, secretary of the Executive Office of Labor and of workforce development. “It’s really important that people don’t have to quit their jobs to get training – they can’t afford it.”

Dimon touted apprenticeship programs in countries like Switzerland and Germany as a boon to employment rates, but also praised DIY training efforts.

“I know a lot of kids who graduated from college and majored in philosophy and history, and they learned coding on YouTube,” he said.

Panelists also suggested further investments in and access to vocational schools, as well as career-focused programs and tools offered in secondary and post-secondary education, as possible solutions.

“It can’t be one non-profit or one government or one business at a time, but what we’re looking at, what bureaucratic elements are getting in the way? And clear that brush and connect the pipelines,” said Marinell Rousmaniere, CEO of school improvement organization EdVestors.

A crucial part of training Boston’s workforce, panelists said, is figuring out how to do it fairly. “When you think about the lack of economic mobility for certain communities, it’s quite stark,” Rose said, particularly after the pandemic has disproportionately affected people of color.

“When I look at the jobs available today, about 35% of those jobs are professional and technical jobs. When I see the people who have been hit hardest by this pandemic, [it’s] leisure, hospitality, commerce, transportation, utilities — so, not the same skill level,” Acosta said. “We have this skills mismatch.”

“Our goal is to make sure that we increase access to those who haven’t had that access before,” she added. “What I’m very optimistic about is that the focus is on it now. It’s hotter than ever.

Dimon said if he could wave his “magic wand” he would raise the minimum wage, extend the Pell Grant program and expand the earned income tax credit. “It solves a lot of problems, brings a lot more dignity,” he said, adding that JPMorgan Chase no longer requires applicants to have a college degree for most jobs.

“It’s going to be about their skills, not about this degree which really doesn’t give you the skills,” he said.

Acosta said that systemic changes – such as improved transportation, child care and stable housing – are just as essential as job training programs. “My definition of workforce development is the definition of a human being,” she said. “There are so many things besides work that need to happen.”

As employers embark on skills training projects, Dimon implored them to track the results of these investments.

“It has to pay for itself eventually,” he said. “It’s not a charity business.”

Dana Gerber can be contacted at Follow her on Twitter @danagerber6.

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