Bank of America received the inaugural George R. Roberts Good Business Award from The Roberts Enterprise Development Fund (REDF) in recognition for leadership in “creating more economic opportunity for people facing the greatest barriers to work.”
REDF was formed to launch and grow social enterprises, highlighting the power of job creation to support communities. REDF recognized Bank of America’s Support Services group, which provides meaningful jobs for hundreds of individuals, many of whom have disabilities. In addition to the award, REDF recently profiled Support Services as a case study.
When it launched in 1990, Support Services was composed of three employees. Now 300 employees strong, Support Services has grown over the decades due to its proven success as a self-sufficient social enterprise created within a major corporation. With locations in three U.S. cities (Newark, DE, Dallas, TX and Belfast, ME), the group has served projects including ATM quality control, mail-room fulfillment and centralized printing.
As Support Service’s senior executive, Mark Feinour explains, “We’re just like any other business, we just happen to have a different talent pool to draw from.”
Employees are provided the same benefits as the rest of the corporation, and are paid wages commensurate with all other Bank of America employees.
“We’ve been a long-time funder of organizations, including REDF, that are creating opportunities for hard-to-employ populations,” said Kerry Sullivan, president of the Bank of America Charitable Foundation. “It’s part of our broader commitment to connect individuals to jobs and education, all of which strengthens local economies.”
Support Services is well positioned for continued growth and remains focused on diversifying its internal clients and broadening the skill set of employees.
REDF is dedicated to creating employment opportunities for people facing the greatest barriers to work, including those with mental health disabilities. Founded in 1997 by George R. Roberts (KKR), REDF has directly supported more than 60 social enterprises in California that have employed more than 10,000 individuals who faced significant barriers to work and it continues to advocate for social enterprises across the U.S.