July 31, 2018
Seattle - BankWork$ today announced it has placed its 2000th graduate in a retail banking career. BankWork$ is a free training program that matches underemployed and underserved adults with careers in the financial services.
“With every candidate we place, we’re building rewarding careers, stable families, and strong communities,” said Les Biller, BankWork$ founder and former Wells Fargo COO.
“BankWork$ really changed my life,” said Brandon Madrid, a Denver Goodwill BankWork$ graduate, who is now a personal banker, at Wells Fargo. “The program gives support to people who otherwise might not think they have it, and that’s what it did for me.”
Since launching in Los Angeles in 2006, BankWork$ has expanded to Seattle—its headquarters—and nine other cities. It is currently backed by a five-year, $4 million commitment from Bank of America, US Bank, Wells Fargo, and the Sheri and Les Biller Family Foundation.
Participants need only a high school diploma or GED, a clear background check, and an enthusiasm for the industry, and must be 18 or older. BankWork$’s rigorous eight-week program focuses on professionalism, communication, and interviewing skills, along with the basic fundamentals of new careers in finance. Graduates are introduced to potential employers during job fairs immediately following graduation.
“At Bank of America, we’re focused on connecting young adults from underserved areas to the skills, resources, and experience needed to succeed. As one of Bankwork$’s long-term partners, it’s been exciting to see the program expand across the country. Our customers benefit from this diverse, well-trained, local workforce,” said Margo Messina, a Bankwork$ advisory board member and consumer region executive at Bank of America.
BankWork$ has proven to be a valuable source of talent for employers.
· 82 percent of graduates remain employed six months after hire;
· 71 percent remain employed after one year;
· 80 percent come from minority communities;
· Nearly 60 percent are bilingual or multilingual.
In addition to Seattle and Los Angeles, BankWork$ currently operates in San Francisco; Portland, Ore.; Denver; Phoenix; Houston; Dallas; Chicago; Atlanta; and Philadelphia. The program plans to expand into up to 15 markets by the end of 2019.
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BankWork$ is a free eight-week financial services job training program that serves individuals with barriers to employment. The program is now operating in Atlanta; Chicago; Dallas; Denver; Houston; Los Angeles; Phoenix; Portland, Ore.; Philadelphia; San Francisco Bay Area; and Seattle. For more information, visit www.bankworks.org.
About the Sheri and Les Biller Family Foundation
The Sheri and Les Biller Family Foundation is committed to a collaborative approach to philanthropy in its focus areas of career pathways development, public education, supportive care, and social impact theater For more information, visit www.billerfamilyfoundation.org.