Have you ever worked with the team at your local bank branch, virtually or in person? As Chase’s Jonathan Morales and Jordan King will tell you, opening a checking account is the first step to achieving financial stability and a critical one in closing gaps in access to banking. Jordan King is Chase’s new Community Manager for the City of Los Angeles, one of 150 Community Managers Chase is hiring across the country, while Jonathan Morales is focused on all of California. From their offices in Los Angeles, they are both focused on helping close the racial wealth gap for Latinos and African Americans.
The community manager role is a new one that Chase created to help leverage the bank’s resources to address racial inequality and ensure financial resources are available to all, especially those who have historically been underserved.
we sit with Jonathan and Jordan to discuss their roles, their plans to help Los Angeles’ Latino and African American communities grow, the changes the bank’s $ 30 billion investment is expected to bring along the way forward, and how people can work with Chase to chart their own path forward and meet their financial goals.
Jordan, tell us a bit more about your new role as a community manager.
King: My role as a community manager was specifically designed to meet the unique financial well-being needs of our city’s Latino and African-American communities. We want to evolve from community banking to community building. To do this, we are actively working to reverse systemic inequalities throughout the financial system, to break down economic barriers, and to support the success of our clients and our community. Our recent announcement on Loss of Housing Affordability Through Nonprofit Partnerships and Policy Change Recommendations is a great example of this. Think of a community manager as a neighbor who understands intentional relationship building, the financial needs of leaders, organizations, and individuals in our community, and who can introduce you to the right person at the bank to help.
How do you hope to financially strengthen the Latino and African American communities of Los Angeles?
Jonathan: My hope is that we can raise awareness of the tools, resources, and partners we have at Chase to establish financial health and wealth in our communities that will lead to financial stability for generations to come. We are here to empower members and businesses of the Latino community with tools to build generational wealth and a lasting legacy. Awareness and accessibility are key, and we see our branches as an ideal place to start fostering vital community connections. My team and I will help people take advantage of financial health tools, products and services, while aiming to drive general financial literacy through free and unique interactive programs such as:
- Resources to support financial health
- Tips for buying a home
- Educational and enrichment workshops such as resume writing and cybersecurity tips
- Growth support for entrepreneurs starting or expanding their small businesses
As we are just getting started, we hope to make a real difference in the lives of families, individuals, homeowners, and business owners in the communities we serve, especially Los Angeles.
What additional resources will be available to communities marginalized To who The Angels?
King: This is a multi-year effort, so there will be many, but here are a few to get you started. One of our top key priorities is helping people open a checking account for the first time, as this is key to financial stability and critical to closing gaps in access to banking. To do this, we will walk through our low-cost, non-overdraft checking accounts like Chase Secure Banking, which can offer security to those who might be new to banking or who have had trouble obtaining or maintaining a bank account at the past.
We are also focused on promoting growth among Latino-owned small businesses. We have senior Spanish-speaking consultants who can serve as trainers and mentors for underserved entrepreneurs. Likewise, we have brought on board community home loan advisors who are focused on helping to secure the funds needed to purchase a home in the community.
However, it is not just about people resources, it is also financial assistance. For example, we recently announced that we are offering a $ 5,000 Homebuyer Grant to help cover closing costs and down payments for qualified homebuyers purchasing a home in underserved communities in Los Angeles and across the country. Plus, customers who complete a certified education course can save an additional $ 500 on a Chase DreaMaker mortgage.
You mentioned that another goal of the community manager is to “build community.” What does this mean and how will you do it in Los Angeles?
Morales: A big priority for us is working with community organizations that understand and are invested in driving change.
King: Right, in the future, I think you will see more initiatives like this from us, here in Los Angeles, focused on small businesses, but also on all aspects of financial health. They will also see more opportunities for participation in person, as well as through focused spaces for education and community connections.
For us, serving the people in this community is a personal passion, as well as a professional one.
For more information, visit the Crenshaw Community Center branch at 4401 Crenshaw Boulevard or any Chase branch in the Los Angeles area.
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.