Chase and San Jacinto College send first group of graduates into workforce

06.04.2015 | By Jeannie Peng-Armao

Great Jobs=Great Careers=Your Future Chase grant funded tools essential to recruit high school seniors into college

PASADENA, Texas – It’s been one year since San Jacinto College and Chase developed a pilot program to recruit high school students into college training programs for high-wage/high demand jobs. Last month, the program’s first group of graduates walked across the San Jacinto College commencement stage at NRG Stadium with certificates in hand, ready for the workforce.

"All of my friends and I have earned our pharmacy technician certificates from San Jacinto College and are now working at Walgreens," said Crystal Martinez. "We want to continue our education to one day work in the medical field."

The $100,000 Great Jobs=Great Careers=Your Future Chase grant with San Jacinto College funds tools that map out the educational pathways needed to lead students into today's high-wage/high demand jobs in various industries. Participating high schools include North Shore High School, La Porte High School, South Houston High School, and Channelview High School. The program also provides videos that feature young professionals in their careers and presentations delivered by Chase volunteers who provide financial education for college planning and information about how to manage finances once employed.

"It's pretty incredible to see these students, some who had no direction about what they wanted to do after high school, now on their first step of the career ladder," said Carolyn Watson, vice president of corporate responsibility with Chase. "They can make good wages and know they can always come back to San Jacinto College to continue their education and to continue on their career pathway."

Chase considers community colleges as the workforce training institutions of the 21st century, Watson noted. More graduates are anticipated as the program enters its second year.

"We've learned some things this first year about how important it is to reach out the parents about these careers because many people have outdated perceptions about various industries,” said Watson. “We also see the importance of having women from industry speak to the young women in high school to inspire them to consider careers in such industries as oil and gas.”

The Great Jobs=Great Careers=Your Future program goal was to enroll approximately 150 students into San Jacinto College workforce training programs for the 2014-2015 academic year. San Jacinto College exceeded that amount by enrolling 163 students. The grant is a part of Chase's commitment with its New Skills at Work initiative to train the workforce for a demand-driven system.

For Mario Compean, earning his welding certificate from San Jacinto College meant an immediate job promotion in management at Discount Tire and as the first person in his family to walk across the stage at a college commencement.

"My employer encouraged and even paid for me to earn my certificate first before getting my promotion as assistant manager," said Compean. "I'm the first one to graduate from college in my family. It's a great experience for me."

About Chase 

Chase has 218 branches and more than 7,000 employees in the Houston area. The company’s philanthropic goal is simple - be the catalyst to meaningful, positive, and sustainable change. In 2012, JPMorgan Chase and its Foundation gave more than $190 million to thousands of nonprofit organizations across 42 U.S. states, the District of Columbia, and 37 countries around the world. More information about Chase is available at www.chase.com.

About San Jacinto College

Surrounded by monuments of history, industries and maritime enterprises of today, and the space age of tomorrow, San Jacinto College has been serving the citizens of East Harris County, Texas, for more than 50 years. As an Achieving the Dream Leader College, San Jacinto College is committed to the goals and aspirations of a diverse population of approximately 30,000 credit students. The College offers 186 degrees and certificates, with 46 technical programs and a university transfer division. Students benefit from a support system that maps out a pathway for success, and job training programs that are renowned for meeting the needs of growing industries in the region. San Jacinto College graduates contribute nearly $690 million each year to the Texas workforce.

For more information about San Jacinto College, please call 281-998-6150, visit www.sanjac.edu, or follow us on Facebook and Twitter.