Today, we are in the midst of a youth career crisis. The youth unemployment rate in the U.S. is more than twice the overall national rate. And as the economy evolves to require a more skilled workforce, career and technical education systems need to do better to meet the needs of employers.

Right now, “only one in three Americans in their mid-twenties today has graduated from college, and only 10 percent have a degree from a two-year college or the right training or certificate to get a job requiring technical skills that pays above the living wage.”

To help prepare young people for the high-skill jobs needed to compete in the global economy, Head of Workforce Initiatives Chauncey Lennon says JPMorgan Chase has invested $75 million into a New Skills for Youth initiative.

MORE: New Skills for Youth: Investing $75M Today to Build Tomorrow’s Economy

As part of the initiative, JPMorgan Chase will award $20 million in grants to 10 U.S. states that are implementing long-term career readiness education programs that align with the needs of area employers.

On the day the announcement which states would receive funding was made, JPMorgan Chase & Co. Chairman and CEO Jamie Dimon held a forum to discuss career education and economic opportunity featuring Senator Tim Kaine (D-VA), co-Chair of the Senate CTE Caucus; Senator Tim Scott (R-SC), Founding Member of the Opportunity Coalition; House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA); Governor Mary Fallin (R-OK); Governor Gina Raimondo (D-RI); and Michael R. Bloomberg, Founder, Bloomberg LP & Bloomberg Philanthropies. Click here to watch.

Through a rigorous review process by an independent advisory committee, Delaware, Kentucky, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Nevada, Ohio, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, Tennessee and Wisconsin had demonstrated the strongest plans to work across sectors to transform how they design and develop career preparedness education programs and provide young people with the skills they need to compete for high-skill, well-paying jobs.

Those states will each receive $2 million over three years to expand and improve career pathways for all high school students. The global financial services firm will document and study the level of success of each program so that educators, policymakers, training providers and employers around the world can identify and replicate the most promising approaches.

“The number of young people who graduate from high school without the necessary skills to compete is one of the greatest moral and economic inequities of our time,” said Jamie Dimon, Chairman and CEO, JPMorgan Chase. “These investments will help states build career education programs that align with the needs of growing industries and give young people a chance to succeed.”

Click here to see more on the initiative and its goals.

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