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JPMorgan Announces First 5 Recipients Of AdvancingCities Award Money

JPMorgan Chase chairman and CEO Jamie Dimon
JPMorgan Chase Chairman and CEO Jamie Dimon

JPMorgan Chase has begun dispensing money through its $500M AdvancingCities initiative.

On Thursday, the banking giant announced that it had chosen five winners of its first annual AdvancingCities Challenge, wherein coalitions of public, private and charitable organizations presented their plans to improve outcomes for disadvantaged urban neighborhoods. The winning bids came from Chicago, Miami, San Diego, Louisville, Kentucky, and Syracuse, New York, which will each receive $3M, spread over the next three years.

Chicago's proposal, titled West Side United, aims to tackle the 13-year life expectancy gap between the city's West Side and nearby affluent neighborhood The Loop. A public-private partnership including Rush University Medical Center, other local healthcare providers and multiple workforce development groups will use the grant money to invest in connecting low-income health workers with greater opportunities, as well as connecting entrepreneurs with potential investors.

Louisville's Digital Inclusion and Economic Resilience program will build an online referral network to connect residents of the city's six poorest neighborhoods to high-paying jobs that are rarely attainable without some form of connection or pre-existing relationship. The program will be led by Metro United Way of Louisville, Goodwill and several other institutions and nonprofit organizations.

The programs from Miami, San Diego and Syracuse follow much the same formula, tailored to each city's unique situations and challenges. JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon cited the involvement of the local business community as a major factor in why proposals were selected.

“Businesses have a role to play in bringing communities together to create greater opportunity,” Dimon said in Louisville at an event revealing the winners. “All five of these cities have shown that they understand this type of investment and the ability to work together to solve problems is not just the right thing to do, it is also in our shared interests.” 

JPMorgan has earmarked $15M for this year of the AdvancingCities Challenge. How the rest of the $500M pledged by the banking giant will be disbursed has yet to be publicly announced.