Joined by Philadelphia City Council President Darrell L. Clarke, Les Biller of The Sheri and Les Biller Family Foundation, Wells Fargo and Citizens Bank, BankWork$® and Philadelphia OIC launch 8-week career training program for underserved communities.
PHILADELPHIA, PA - June 8, 2017 - Today, Philadelphia Opportunities Industrialization Center, Inc. (OIC) announced its partnership with BankWork$®- a California-based organization that trains young adults from low income and minority communities for lasting careers in the financial services industry - that will bring a free, eight-week bank training program to Philadelphia residents this Fall. Serving as the first Northeast U.S. location, and the 10th nationwide, the program will be housed on Philadelphia OIC’s campus and will be a major step in the organization’s goal of creating continued pathways to employment. The program will ultimately provide participants with the training necessary to obtain jobs in the banking industry, and equip them with the tools to gain financial independence and career growth opportunities.
Integral to this partnership was Philadelphia City Council President Darrell L. Clarke, who championed the expansion of BankWork$® to Philadelphia. Joining him at today’s announcement were Les Biller, co-founder of the Sheri and Les Biller Family Foundation and founder of BankWork$®, who spoke to the organization’s expansion and the program’s offerings; Greg Redden, Wells Fargo Regional President, Greater Philadelphia/Delaware, who presented a $25,000 check representing the investment being made by the financial institution; and Michael Cooper, Senior Vice President & Regional Director of Public Affairs at Citizens Bank, who spoke to the bank’s support of Philadelphia OIC and its efforts to train Philadelphians for life-sustaining careers in banking. Also in attendance were Councilman Derek Green and Duane Bumb, Senior Deputy Commerce Director Business Development for the City of Philadelphia.
“Philadelphia OIC has a longstanding history of moving people from welfare to work; and our partnership with BankWork$ allows us to expand our capabilities to help more people,” said Dr. Kevin R. Johnson, President & CEO of Philadelphia OIC. “The BankWork$ program is aligned with OIC’s mission to create diverse pathways to employment, and assist all people to achieve financial empowerment and self-sufficiency. We will prepare graduates for fulfilling careers in the banking and financial sector; and in many cases, assist people with zero income make a life-sustaining salary of $35,000 and up.”
The banking industry has an abundance of positions and career opportunities, with unlimited growth potential and an upward trajectory for those who are qualified. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, financial activities added 19,000 jobs in April 2017; and so far this year, employment growth in the banking industry has remained in line with its 2016 average increase of 15,000 per month. Overall, employment in banking occupations is projected to grow 8 percent from 2014 to 2024, adding about 632,400 in new jobs.
Not only is the banking industry one with unlimited growth potential for qualified employees, it also boasts an affordable path to employment through programs such as BankWork$®, with a notable return on community investment. The BankWork$® program launched in Los Angeles in 2006, and has since grown to offer classes in Chicago, Denver, Houston, Phoenix, Portland, San Francisco and Seattle. In each city, BankWork$® partners with a local nonprofit to offer the free program. The eight-week BankWork$® program, which has a 75% job placement rate following completion, works to equip its graduates with the skills needed to earn in-demand jobs as bank tellers, customer service representatives and personal bankers. Through a series of seminars and lessons taught by banking professionals, program participants will learn about the industry itself, as well as the soft and hard skills that will allow them to earn long-lasting, sustainable careers in the banking industry.
“BankWork$ has more than 1,500 graduates placed in jobs nationwide,” said BankWork$® Executive Director Colleen Anderson. “That’s more than 1,500 success stories and we know that that number will continue to grow when you combine Philadelphia’s OIC reach and commitment to the community with BankWork$’s proven success.”
The program is set to start in Fall 2017. Those interested in participating can visit the Philadelphia OIC website to learn more.
“BankWork$ provides a solution to two critical needs—it provides individuals with training to qualify for rewarding careers in financial services and it provides companies with a pool of qualified candidates to fill critical positions at the local level,” said Greg Redden, Wells Fargo Regional President for Greater Philadelphia and Delaware. “Wells Fargo is proud to collaborate with [Philadelphia] OIC, BankWork$ and the Office of City Council President Darrell Clarke, to bring this initiative to the City of Philadelphia.”
About Philadelphia OIC: Philadelphia Opportunities Industrialization Center, Inc. (OIC) scales and sustains career and workforce development. The organization is dedicated to the elimination of poverty, unemployment and illiteracy to ensure a meaningful quality of life for families and individuals within Philadelphia. Founded in 1964, on the principles of “helping people to help themselves,” Philadelphia OIC strives to create diverse pathways to employment for all of its participants and serves as a catalyst, enabling its clients to establish and maintain critical job and life skills through professional development. The organization boasts an 86% cohort graduation rate, with a 79% job placement record. Philadelphia OIC serves more than 1,500 unduplicated individuals annually OIC has provided more than 16,000 client visitors basic training in computer and Internet technology since 2011, and operates a one-of-a-kind technology boot camp at two Philadelphia school district high schools, preparing students for STEM careers or college study. For more information on Philadelphia OIC, visit www.PhilaOIC.org.
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. 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 Atlanta, Philadelphia, St. Louis and Dallas in 2017 and to 15 markets by 2019. For more information, see www.bankworks.org.
Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE: WFC) is a diversified, community-based financial services company with $1.9 trillion in assets. Founded in 1852 and headquartered in San Francisco, Wells Fargo provides banking, insurance, investments, mortgage, and consumer and commercial finance through more than 8,600 locations, 13,000 ATMs, the internet (wellsfargo.com) and mobile banking, and has offices in 42 countries and territories to support customers who conduct business in the global economy. With approximately 269,000 team members, Wells Fargo serves one in three households in the United States. Wells Fargo & Company was ranked No. 27 on Fortune’s 2016 rankings of America’s largest corporations. Wells Fargo’s vision is to satisfy our customers’ financial needs and help them succeed financially.