Employer Partner Spotlight: For Dollar Bank, BankWork$ “Matches the Mission” of Creating Opportunity in the Communities It Serves

When it was founded 1855, Dollar Bank’s founder Charles Colton had a “revolutionary” idea: to create a bank where anyone could open an account with one dollar in their pocket, regardless of race or gender. 

Today, over 165 years later, Dollar Bank remains rooted in that mission. 

“We pride ourselves on being a community bank,” says Michael O’Rorke, Dollar Bank’s Senior Vice President, Human Resources. “Part of being a community bank means thinking about all aspects of the community and how you can help create opportunity.” 

Headquartered in Pittsburgh, to help fulfill that mission, Dollar Bank began its partnership with the BankWork$ program run by our local training partners, Partner4Work, and Energy Innovation Center in 2019. Since then, Dollar Bank has welcomed nine BankWork$ graduates. 

“BankWork$ matches the mission of serving the communities where Dollar Bank operates”, says O’Rorke. “It allows us to round out our community vision of creating opportunity. It’s proven to be a really good match.” 

“Different people with different lenses look at challenges differently,” adds Paul David Spradley, Ed.D., Dollar Bank’s Assistant Vice President, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. “You are setting up your organization to have more diverse conversations.”  Dr. Paul was the keynote speaker at the previous BankWork$ graduation, where he inspired the graduates to continue setting new goals in their financial services careers. 

“The BankWork$ program continues to help connect talented job seekers with employers and exciting career opportunities in our community,” said Susie Puskar, Chief Program Officer for Partner4Work. “BankWork$ is one more way that we help open doors to our region’s job seekers, and businesses find the talent they need to grow and reflect the communities they serve. We’re excited to continue working with BankWork$ and employer partners to grow this successful program.” 

For Dollar Bank, BankWork$ has helped meet another key goal: hiring. 

“The BankWork$ program is a no-brainer because you are helping your community and attracting well-trained, diverse talent. Traditional talent pipelines are drying up, and BankWork$ offers a path to addressing the impending shortage of talent with a qualified pipeline,” says Dr. Spradley. 

One of Dollar Bank’s newest team members is Omar Almallak, a Spring 2021 BankWork$ graduate. Omar immigrated to the United States from Iraq in early 2020, and began working nights at a processing plant, just as the COVID-19 pandemic hit. Soon, a caseworker alerted him to the BankWork$ program, and he began the program provided by Energy Innovation Center. 

Omar managed an intense schedule, working nights at the processing plant and attending BankWork$ classes during the day, building on his accounting studies in Iraq. 

After completing the eight-week, free, comprehensive training program, he received two job offers – and ultimately accepted a role with Dollar Bank in their wire transfer department. 

Graduates like Omar succeed in their new career because they come to employers already “up the ramp,” says Michael. “They come to work with the skills they need, the self-confidence to be successful, and a desire to help others.” 

Dr. Spradley has a piece of advice for people interested in BankWork$ and Dollar Bank: “Visit our careers page. And find me on LinkedIn. 

As Omar has begun his new career in financial services with Dollar Bank, he’s taken on another role, too: champion and unofficial recruiter for the BankWork$ program in his community. Already, he has helped recruit two people – a friend and a neighbor – into the BankWork$ program with Partner4Work. 

“I told them to do this program. It is a good way to build your career, and a good opportunity for people. They opened a door for me.” 

Want to learn more about BankWork$ and our work with our partners in the Pittsburgh region? Click here.