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J.P. Morgan CEO Jamie Dimon Says Inner-City Education is a ‘National Catastrophe’

Key Speakers At The 2017 Milken ConferenceKey Speakers At The 2017 Milken Conference
Jamie Dimon during the Milken Institute Global Conference in Beverly Hills, Calif., on May 1, 2017. Patrick T. Fallon—Bloomberg/Getty Images

J.P. Morgan Chase (JPYYL) CEO Jamie Dimon said the U.S. is experiencing a “national catastrophe” in education and has pledged to provide $6 million to help fund schools in New York’s South Bronx district.

In an interview with Business Insider, Dimon said the commitment, part of the company’s New Skills for Youth Initiative, is designed to pair career and technical education schools with employers in the city.

Citing estimates that 50% of inner-city youths do not complete high school, Dimon said American leaders “should be ringing the alarm bells,” warning that American job preparation is falling behind despite global efforts to improve education.

Dimon said the focus now should be on ensuring that more young people finish high school prepared to enter the workforce or able to obtain higher education that would lead to employment.

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While the national unemployment rate has dropped to record lows over the past year, unemployment among people aged between 18 and 25 years old remains markedly higher, Dimon said.