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JPMorgan launches "Detroit Service Corps" to boost non-profits

Nov 3, 2014

Detroit's Eastern Market will get service corps help with plans to develop a regional wholesale produce market.
Credit via detroiteasternmarket.com

JPMorgan Chase is lending some of its people to development-boosting efforts in Detroit.

12 JP Morgan employees will spend much of this month working with non-profit groups in the city as part of the new Detroit Service Corps.

The volunteer effort is meant to complement the financial services company's five-year, $100 million investment in a number of Detroit projects, says Tasha Tabron of the JP Morgan Chase Foundation.

“We have people from seven different countries who will be here in the city of Detroit for the next three weeks, working with four different non-profits,” Tabron says.

The employee volunteers will provide financial expertise and other resources for selected projects.

For Vanguard Community Development Corporation in Detroit’s North End neighborhood, it means additional help developing an “acquisition-rehab strategy” to capitalize on a growing demand for single family homes there.

Executive Director Khalilah Gaston says the volunteers will help answer some strategic questions.

“The group is going to work with us on creating a financial model, to help us look at [things like]: What do we need to have in place? How should we be acquiring homes? How much should we be investing in those homes, and what are the key messages to ensure that we can attract residents who are moving to the city of Detroit?” Gaston says.

Other groups receiving funding include Eastern Market, to develop a model for a new wholesale produce market; Focus: HOPE, to help develop an “integrated talent management system;” and Michigan Community Services, to help create a marketing and outreach package for some of Detroit’s neighborhood commercial corridors.

Tabron says JP Morgan will bring in more teams to work with more groups over the next five years.

“We have longstanding relationships with a number of these non-profits,” Tabron says. “They are part of our $100 million commitment.”