Bank of America today announced a $40 million commitment to connect 100,000 teens and young adults to the skills and employment experiences needed for 21st-century jobs. Over the next three years, in partnership with nonprofit organizations across the country, the bank will fund early employment, education and job training and support diverse talent to help build a pipeline that will strengthen and enhance today’s workforce. These initiatives build on the company’s long-standing support of youth and young adults, and are a key demonstration of the bank’s strategy to advance sustainable and responsible growth of communities and economies nationwide. The commitment was announced in conjunction with Bank of America’s 2016 Student Leaders Summit, which brings community-minded high school students together to strengthen their skills and help chart their path to success.
“Investing in young adults to help provide them the opportunities they need to build their career skills makes a meaningful impact in their lives and the lives of our communities," said Brian Moynihan, chairman and CEO, Bank of America.
Youth unemployment limits income mobility
A recent Brookings Institution report estimated that 3 million young people in America ages 16–24, or 7.6 percent of all young people, are disconnected – not employed or in school. This is a serious challenge that has a disproportionate impact on individuals in low-income communities, as well as on young adults without post-secondary education credentials. The research indicates that paid youth employment programs that connect young people to education, training and the job market can be effective tools in putting them on the best trajectory for future success.
Bank of America’s multipronged approach to investing in youth employment
Through the Bank of America Charitable Foundation, the $40 million commitment will support a range of initiatives and partnerships with local and national nonprofit organizations including Urban Alliance, Jobs for the Future, and Boys & Girls Clubs of America. Examples include:
- Student Leaders® and summer jobs programs
Through its Student Leaders program, Bank of America will connect nearly 700 community-minded high school juniors and seniors from across the country with paid summer internships at local nonprofits. In addition, Student Leaders gather in Washington, D.C. for a leadership summit, focused on pathways to leadership and building a more diverse and inclusive society. There are nearly 2,500 Student Leaders alumni who have already gained skills and work experience through the program.
Separately, the bank will continue to partner with local mayors’ offices across the country to fund paid summer jobs at local nonprofits for at-risk teens and empower youth in major metropolitan areas through its financial center summer intern program. This program offers on the job training in financial centers and a mentoring relationship with financial center managers to help high-school students develop personal and professional skills. Each initiative includes a focus on building better money habits such as managing a first paycheck and starting to save.
- Workforce development and education grants
As part of its broader work to connect individuals to tools and resources to build economic mobility, Bank of America partners with nonprofit organizations that are increasing educational and workforce opportunities for teens and young adults in local communities. Funding is targeted toward low-income communities that are disproportionately affected by barriers to workforce participation. This includes working with nonprofits that are driving solutions for the future of work and leveraging their expertise to connect youth with the opportunities, ranging from first-time employment to resume advice and career coaching, needed to succeed in the 21st-century workforce. For example, by partnering with Year Up, the bank helps low-income young adults gain skills and work experience, including apprenticeships at the company, that put them on a path to economic success.
- Hiring and recruiting at Bank of America
Bank of America also partners with more than 200 colleges, universities and other organizations around the world to recruit diverse talent. This comes as part of the bank’s commitment to double its diverse recruiting efforts, and in turn, improve abilities to serve customers and clients while also building a strong pipeline of future leaders. The company partners with organizations such as the Posse Foundation and Sponsors for Educational Opportunity to build a pipeline of young professionals and create a more diverse workforce.
- Underpinning support for youth development
Bank of America’s support for youth and young adults runs through its core businesses, as well as through employee support. The bank’s Global Banking and Markets group has relationships with 86 percent of the Top 100 National Universities1 and 80 percent of America’s Best Colleges2. Bank employees give approximately $12 million annually to educational institutions and organizations assisting youth, which is matched by the Bank of America Charitable Foundation for a total of $24 million to help young adults succeed. In addition, bank employees are passionate about helping young people advance, giving more than 400,000 hours annually through mentoring, youth development and related volunteer activities.
1 As ranked by U.S. News & World Report in September 2015
2 As ranked by FORBES in July 2015