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For immediate release — May 21, 2018
(DALLAS) — When the Dallas County Promise program kicked off in Fall 2017, students from 31 early college high schools were given the opportunity to attend one of the Dallas County Community College District's seven colleges, tuition-free, beginning with the fall 2018 semester.
The Promise program in Dallas — unique among more than 200 other Promise programs across the U.S. — started as a partnership involving DCCCD, the Dallas Independent School District and the University of North Texas at Dallas. That collaborative effort now involves multiple school districts, colleges and universities and business and community partners, who are working together to increase college completion and student success.
Dallas County Promise is a last-dollar, full-tuition scholarship that leads to an associate degree provided by the DCCCD Foundation for high school students in Dallas County. DCCCD's efforts are being matched with tuition-free scholarships from UNT Dallas or other scholarships from partner universities for those students' junior and senior years.
Now the program has its first corporate partnership. JPMorgan Chase announced a $3 million New Skills for Youth investment to expand opportunity in the Dallas region and to provide students with the education and skills they need through Dallas County Promise to secure jobs that pay well in high-demand careers at local, growing industries.
"The Dallas County Promise is an investment in the future of our communities, our economy and the Dallas-Fort Worth region," said Dr. Joe May, DCCCD's chancellor, during an announcement event at Brookhaven College on May 14. "The investment made by JPMorgan Chase through its New Skills for Youth initiative illustrates the critical need for financial support from industry partners, especially in the areas of health care and information technology, and the network we have created for student success."
Since 2014, JPMorgan Chase has invested $10 million in skills-related programs for the Dallas area. The JPMorgan Chase New Skills for Youth investment will be provided through the Commit Partnership.
With that investment, Dallas County Promise will target a goal of supporting 3,500 community college students to complete degrees that will provide them with a pathway to careers in healthcare and information technology. Specifically, the investment will help introduce students, beginning early in high school and through college, to workforce opportunities in those sectors.
Dallas County Promise also will match students with coaches who support them so that they can effectively manage their college experience, ensuring that they have a clear pathway to high-demand careers.
"This effort will provide students with access to economic opportunity and help local businesses find workers who have the critical skills they need," added May.
"Too many young people, particularly from disadvantaged backgrounds, do not get a fair shot at economic opportunity," said Jamie Dimon, chairman and CEO of JPMorgan Chase. "They continue to lack access to the education and skills necessary to get ahead. We cannot look away from this moral and economic crisis."
Dimon added, "It is the responsibility of business and community leaders to work together to provide people with the skills they need to compete for today's jobs and to strengthen the Dallas economy."
Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings, who attended the announcement program, said, "It's a powerful force for good when public institutions and private-sector leaders form partnerships to prepare our youth for high-skill, high-wage jobs. Working together, JPMorgan Chase and Dallas County Promise will transform lives by putting more young people on the path to success."
The Dallas region consistently ranks among the top metro areas in employment growth, but opportunities are not shared equally in the community. Between 2013 and 2018, annual job growth for middle-skills jobs in the region's health care and information technology sectors grew 3.6 and 5.5 percent, respectively. Median wages for in-demand jobs such as surgical technologists and help desk support can be more than $20 an hour.
However, three out of four students in Dallas County are economically disadvantaged. Approximately one-in-four graduating high school seniors in 2010 completed a two- or four-year degree by 2016, which is a critical requirement for students who want to secure those middle-skills jobs.
By next year, Dallas County Promise will support 10 Dallas County school districts, 43 high schools and more than 15,000 high school seniors.
"The Commit Partnership is energized by this catalytic investment supporting our community's unprecedented coalition of school districts, community colleges, universities and workforce," said Todd Williams, chairman and CEO of the Commit Partnership. "There is no doubt that today our students' futures became brighter."
For more information about the JPMorgan Chase Skills for Youth investment in the Dallas County Promise, contact Greg Hassell by email at
firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 713-419-9208.
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