Press Release

JPMorgan Chase Invests $325,000 to Orlando Economic Partnership’s Foundation for Orlando’s Future Program

The grants will fund two initiatives, including the new regional talent strategy called UpSkill Orlando and BRACE (Business Recovery Assistance and Collaborative Engagement) to support economic recovery in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Orlando, Fla. JPMorgan Chase awarded the Orlando Economic Partnership (the Partnership) two separate grants totaling $325,000 to invest in the work of its Foundation for Orlando’s Future. The grants will fund two initiatives, including the new regional talent strategy called UpSkill Orlando, aimed at providing a greater awareness of skill attainment and critical upskilling needs, and BRACE (Business Recovery Assistance and Collaborative Engagement), a program developed by the Partnership to support small businesses in search of financial assistance in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Supporting both UpSkill and BRACE will create resources and opportunities for individuals and small, minority-owned businesses in Orlando as they navigate economic challenges caused by the pandemic,” said Mel Martinez, Chairman of the Southeast U.S. and Latin America for JPMorgan Chase.

“The Orlando Economic Partnership identified rapid, impactful programs to support the critical needs of the community, weather this storm, and put it on a trajectory for sustained success.” 

Mel Martinez, Chairman of the Southeast U.S. and Latin America for JPMorgan Chase

JPMorgan Chase will invest $125,000 in UpSkill to support research and program development in correspondence to a regional skills-based hiring platform. Post-COVID-19, the platform will be critical to ensuring equitable hiring practices, providing research on upskilling needs to address automation, and developing new career pathways that create upward mobility. 

“Trends in automation, remote work and inclusivity accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic are creating a new standard for work,” said Partnership President and CEO Tim Giuliani. “Instead of waiting for jobs to re-appear in a business-as-usual environment, strategic organizations need to pivot to new methodologies for talent acquisition and development. Our expertise in this area can assist businesses as they seek ways to recover from this economic downturn and establish a new, broader regional talent initiative. We are grateful to JPMorgan Chase for supporting our work to improve our region’s economy.”  

Skills-based hiring, the subject of the Foundation’s special report, Re-Imagining Orlando’s Talent Supply funded by the JPMorgan Chase grant, is a strategy that generates value for both employers and applicants by creating skill-focused job descriptions and evaluating candidates based on distinct skillsets vs. experience. It requires a mindset shift—one that encourages an employer to evaluate an individual’s skills and abilities instead of background, and rethink job requirements. When implemented, skills-based hiring: helps fill jobs quickly, retains talent, diversifies an organization’s talent pipeline, and helps provide a greater awareness of skill attainment and critical upskilling needs. 

JPMorgan Chase is also committing $200,000 to the BRACE program, which was established to assist business owners in need of financial assistance to save their companies in this unprecedented time. A communications and case management platform, BRACE provides a free service that helps identify and then connect small businesses to the resources they need most.  

“Orlando’s small businesses are facing unique challenges and serious disruption in the wake of COVID-19.”

Dr. Dale Brill, senior vice president of Foundation for Orlando’s Future

“More than 85 percent of our local businesses employ less than 10 people and day-to-day operations rely on 75+ million visitors a year,” said Dr. Dale Brill, senior vice president of Foundation for Orlando’s Future. “While the national and state government have provided resources, when times are stressful, business owners often resort to layoffs and closing their doors before trying to navigate government paperwork processes that will help them stay afloat.” 

Through the support of JPMorgan Chase, the Foundation for Orlando’s Future will sustain BRACE, allowing the program to continue to leverage relationships and expand partnerships with regional organizations, and continue to deploy bilingual ambassadors who help identify and then connect business, majority minority-owned businesses, to the resources they need most for COVID-19 response, recovery and resiliency. 

Interested parties who complete and submit their online form will have a BRACE Ambassador reach out to them within 48 hours after contact. Ambassadors are trained to triage needs, offer resources, and provide referrals to partners with the right expertise.   

For more information on UpSkill, BRACE or any Partnership programs, please contact or at 407-242-3982.  

About JPMorgan Chase 

JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE: JPM) is a leading global financial services firm with assets of $3.2 trillion and operations worldwide. The Firm is a leader in investment banking, financial services for consumers and small businesses, commercial banking, financial transaction processing, and asset management. A component of the Dow Jones Industrial Average, JPMorgan Chase & Co. serves millions of customers in the United States and many of the world’s most prominent corporate, institutional and government clients under its J.P. Morgan and Chase brands. Information about JPMorgan Chase & Co. is available at