JPMorgan Chase has announced grants totaling $15 million to the winners of the inaugural AdvancingCities Challenge, a competition to source innovative and sustainable solutions for addressing the most persistent problems in U.S. cities.
A part of AdvancingCities, the bank's five-year, $500 million initiative to drive inclusive growth and create greater economic opportunity in cities across the country, the challenge will award $3 million each over three years to five cities — Chicago, Louisville, Miami, San Diego, and Syracuse. The winning cities and programs each demonstrated the key conditions for success that position a city to meaningfully expand opportunity, as defined by JPMorgan Chase, including the ability to lead and collaborate; plan for inclusive growth; tackle a big problem by starting small; invest in data; activate community support; engage anchor institutions; and take risks, adjust, and iterate.
Launched in September 2018, the AdvancingCities Challenge drew proposals from nearly a hundred and fifty communities across forty-five states and territories. Proposals were required to incorporate at least two of the four strategic drivers of inclusive growth in JPMorgan Chase's model for impact: jobs and skills, small business, neighborhood revitalization, and financial health.
In Chicago, the West Side United initiative will engage major health systems to address social determinants of health on the city's underserved West Side by connecting low-wage healthcare workers to career pathways that provide financial security and support local entrepreneurs, while in Louisville, Metro United Way of Louisville will work with Goodwill Industries of Kentucky and other partners to conduct community outreach in six of the city's lowest-income neighborhoods with the aim of connecting neighborhood residents to services and helping them gain the skills necessary to compete for well-paying jobs. Miami will release Resilient305, a comprehensive strategy co-led by Miami-Dade County and the cities of Miami and Miami Beach, with support from the Miami Foundation, to enable the community to more effectively tackle urbanization, globalization, and climate change.
The Advancing San Diego initiative will leverage a collaborative, employer-led strategy that aligns multiple systems around a common goal to connect underrepresented residents to high-demand jobs and provide small businesses access to diverse talent pipelines. And in central New York state, Syracuse Surge: Blueprint for Inclusive Growth, a coalition that includes the Allyn Family Foundation, the City of Syracuse, Le Moyne College, and Onondaga County, will develop long-term strategies to surface talent from vulnerable populations and connect them to jobs in high-tech industries and support efforts to attract, expand, and incubate tech businesses led by diverse founders.
"We know from experience that collaboration is the key to successfully driving inclusive growth and cities, and we were impressed with the collaboration shown in these applications," said Irene Baker, the head of AdvancingCities. "The five winning cities presented creative, thoughtful, and forward-looking strategies that will enable more Americans to participate in a growing economy, and we are excited to help scale these efforts."