In 2018, financial giant JPMorgan Chase hired more than 20,000 people in the U.S. Roughly 10% of them—about 2,100—had a criminal history. And if CEO Jamie Dimon’s plans are realized, those employees will eventually be joined by many more co-workers with similar blotches on their records.
JPMorgan today is announcing several major steps to encourage second-chance hiring for those with criminal records. The bank is officially “banning the box”—removing all questions about criminal records from its job applications. It will steer more than $7 million toward organizations that provide job- and life-skills training to the formerly incarcerated. The bank is also launching a new “policy center,” a think tank of sorts that will design and advocate for regulatory changes around certain economic issues. Its first agenda item: reforming rules that effectively bar former felons from employment, in finance and elsewhere.