Bank of America Hires 4,700 Employees From Low, Moderate-Income Areas

By Lananh Nguyen, Bloomberg | 

This article was originally published in Bloomberg.

Bloomberg

Bank of America Corp. hired 4,700 people from low- and moderate-income areas in the last 18 months, putting it on track to meet a goal of 10,000 by 2023.

Almost 30 percent of the consumer unit’s staff now come from so-called LMI neighborhoods, the Charlotte, North Carolina-based lender said Tuesday in a statement. The bank’s Pathways program, which works with nonprofits that provide professional skills training, has helped bolster the initiative.

“We’re adding to these communities with jobs, financial literacy and financial services,” Dean Athanasia, the bank’s president of consumer and small business, said in an interview in his Boston office.

Bank of America announced on April 9 that its minimum wage would rise to $17 this year and to $20 in 2021. The next day, Chief Executive Officer Brian Moynihan was among the heads of the largest U.S. banks to be grilled by lawmakers on everything from income inequality to diversity.

Bank of America’s hires in LMI areas should rise to about 7,000 people for the consumer unit by the end of the year, according to Moynihan’s written testimony to the House Financial Services Committee.

The bank has 650 branches known as community financial centers that are set up “to ensure we’re meeting the unique challenges within these communities, including managing day-to-day finances, improving credit and building financial wellness,” Athanasia said. About a third of its branches and ATMs are in LMI areas.

New employees get at least 80 hours of training via an in-house program called the Academy, led by John Jordan, according to the bank. About 40,000 staff were trained through the program last year.

5/6/2019


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