BankWork$™ Partners with SER-Jobs for Progress


Contact Tracy Williams | Olmstead Williams Communications
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The free training program for low-income young adults partners with leading local banks to provide a pathway to financial services industry careers.

HOUSTON, January XX, 2015 – BankWork$™, an eight-week free training program that places low-income young adults and those with barriers to employment in jobs in the financial services industry, announced today it has partnered with SER-Jobs for Progress, a Houston non-profit organization dedicated to providing education, job training and employment services for communities in need, to expand its program to Houston. The partnership with SER continues the national expansion goal to place 1,200 to 1,500 graduates in financial services industry careers annually by 2019.

“SER has an impressive operation in Houston, and they are dedicated to providing training in the skills that employers demand,” said Colleen Anderson, Executive Director at BankWork$™. “We’ve found a partner whose values are well aligned with ours. Together, BankWork$™ and SER will provide skills and job training to help ensure graduates are hired into positions in the financial services industry and advance in their careers.”

SER provides education, training and employment services that empower individuals, businesses and communities. Founded in 1965 as a volunteer job bank, the organization now works to place economically challenged individuals into productive employment throughout the Greater Houston area. SER recently celebrated 50 years of transforming lives and has helped tens of thousands of Houstonians obtain employment.

“Everyone has potential to better their life,” said Nory Angel, SER Executive Director and CEO. “In partnering with BankWork$, SER is able to bring this proven program to the local community, equipping our participants with the skills needed to break in to jobs in the financial services industry and put them on track for a fulfilling career.”

The BankWork$™ program launched in Los Angeles in 2006 and has expanded to Seattle, San Francisco, Phoenix and Portland, Oregon to date and plans to launch operations in Houston, Denver and Chicago in 2016. The organization partners with leading nonprofit vocational training organizations in each market – organizations like SER – to offer the free program to young adults from low-income communities and those with barriers to employment. The eight week course equips graduates with the hard and soft skills needed to become qualified candidates for in-demand jobs such as tellers, customer service representatives and personal bankers.
Bank of America, U.S. Bank, Wells Fargo and the Sheri and Les Biller Family Foundation have each pledged $1 million to support a national rollout that will bring the BankWork$™ program to more than 15 markets over five years. The national expansion goal is to place 1,200 to 1,500 graduates annually in financial services industry positions by 2019.

About BankWork$™
BankWork$™ was started in 2006 in Los Angeles by The Sheri and Les Biller Family Foundation in partnership with regional workforce development leader JVS Los Angeles. The program currently has operations in Los Angeles, Seattle, San Francisco, Phoenix and Portland, Oregon. As part of a five-year, $4-million national expansion in partnership with Bank of America, U.S. Bank and Wells Fargo, the program will expand to Houston, Denver and Chicago in 2016 and to more than 15 markets by 2019. For more information, see

About SER
SER seeks to enhance the quality of life in the Hispanic community and other communities in need by providing education, training and employment services that empower individuals, businesses and communities. SER - Jobs for Progress of the Texas Gulf Coast, Inc. was founded in 1965 through the combined efforts of the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC), the G.I. Forum and the Department of the Navy. It began as a volunteer job bank for Hispanic Veterans and is now a nationwide network of 42 affiliates operating in more than 200 offices.


What People are Saying:

  • I had the honor of being hired by a bank sponsor of this life-changing program. Before I hit my six-month mark, I was awarded ‘Teller of the Month,’ and before my first anniversary, I was promoted to Lead Teller. I've regularly been among the top three in my district for sales and I see endless opportunities for my career. But most important, my children and I are finally safe, free and happy.Ruby Bates, Seattle BankWork$ graduate from 2012

  • We developed BankWork$ to open a door for young people from low income and minority communities to help them find and succeed in well-paying jobs that can lead to a lasting career. Every successful person has been helped by someone who opened a door for him or her at some point in their career. We wanted to do that for people who would not otherwise have found their way into banking. And at the same time we are providing our partner banks with well-trained and highly qualified candidates who happen to be from underserved communities.Les Biller, Founder, BankWork$ and Former COO, Wells Fargo
    Founding Trustee, The Sheri and Les Biller Family Foundation

  • Bank of America looks for a variety of ways to build a pipeline of diverse talent. BankWork$ has developed an innovative way to introduce a career in banking to people from inner city communities and we are proud to be a part of extending the program across the country. Michael Sherman, Head of Global Staffing at Bank of America

  • The impact that BankWork$ has had on the Southern California community is enormous. This program does more that just provide a service, it provides people with a future.Lisa Meadows, JVS SoCal Director of BankWork$

  • The banking industry is always in search of the best talent. BankWork$ graduates are unique because they arrive on the job ready to go from day one, and they are committed to this industry. The program is able to provide candidates from a diverse set of backgrounds, and that's important to the banks.William Fanter, Senior Vice President, U.S. Bank and BankWork$ Advisory Board Member

  • The common phrase that when a window closes, a door opens, best describes my experience in the BankWork$ program. BankWork$ is a door to opportunity and success. I gained valuable industry knowledge and skills, while building a professional network with some of the best banks in the nation.Azza Ahmed, Senior Service Officer at Bank of the West and BankWork$ Denver graduate

  • We are proud to partner with Goodwill Industries of Denver and the BankWork$ program here in the Denver metro area. BankWork$ is a proven way to provide access to long-term and rewarding careers in banking, and we are thrilled to be a part of its success in helping individuals build strong futures for themselves and their families.Stephanie Tedy, Bank of the West Community Affairs Regional Officer

  • As long-time supporters of BankWork$ we are so thankful for the work they do to strengthen local communities. By providing life-changing, career opportunities for hard-working people, BankWork$ helps to provide us qualified candidates that help us serve the financial needs of our diverse communities. Tracy Curtis, North Oregon Region President, Wells Fargo and BankWork$ Advisory Board Member

  • We have been so impressed by BankWork$ in Philadelphia with the Philadelphia OIC that we're already looking for ways to bring the program to other parts of Pennsylvania. The BankWork$ program provides cutting-edge resources to support our members in recruiting a diverse and bank-ready pool of entry-level candidates.Duncan Campbell, Pennsylvania Banker's Association President and CEO