smiling woman seated in office

Advancing racial equality and economicopportunity: focus on building careers

As part of our commitment to driving more opportunities for people and communities of color, we've developed a signature jobs initiative focused on the reskilling and upskilling of Black and Hispanic-Latino individuals. Employer partnership are a critical component of this work.

The power to make a difference in ourcommunities

Through partnerships with 21 higher education institutions, including community colleges that serve predominately Black and Hispanic-Latino students and public Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), and Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSIs), we support enhanced career guidance and training, wrap services (financial coaching), and learning via a college-employer network to ensure that students of color are prepared for entry into high-wage, in-demand careers.

College-Employer Learning Hub

As part of the Job's Initiative we are working with Aspen Institute and National Center for Inquiry and Improvement (NCII) as our lead partner agencies to create a learning hub to work with the 21 colleges. The goal of the Learning Hub is to enhance program planning and strategic development of existing or new guided student career pathways among the college/university partners.

The design of the learning hub will help enhance the dialogue among local bank leadership, employer partners, and educators at our respective colleges on topics tied to up-skilling and re-skilling as well as broader skills needed for mid-level jobs for students working on either their associates or baccalaureate degrees. This college-employer learning hub will serve as a peer-network to share innovations, accelerate best practices, and provide resources that deepen employer-led curriculum.

Session #1, February 26, 2021

Advancing a vision for equitable talent development centered on high-quality programs aligned to regional workforce needs.

Outlines how institutional decision-makers can improve employment and earnings outcomes for graduates by advancing a vision for talent development and economic mobility and creating college systems necessary to enact that vision.

Presenters: Josh Wyner, Founder and Executive Director of the College Excellence Program, Aspen Institute
Daniel Trujillo, Senior Program Manager Aspen College Excellence Program
Moderator: Dr. Rob Johnstone, Founder and President, NCII
Bank of America: Kerry Sullivan, President, Bank of America Charitable Foundation

Business meeting at white table

SESSION #2, MARCH 12, 2021 Equity issues in workforce development programs

Frames issues of equity faced in workforce development and career-focused academic programs and shares perspectives/suggested strategies for institutions to consider as they engage around efforts to improve outcomes for students.

Presenters: Dr. Jim Jacobs, Bettina Celis, NCII

Moderator: Dr. Rob Johnstone, NCII

Students in front of computer monitors

SESSION #3, MARCH 26, 2021 Addressing stereotype threat in career- focused academic programs

Addresses how stereotyping students affects their perceived capabilities and it examines the effects on academic and professional performance. It also identifies practical applications of interventions to mitigate the impact of stereotype threat.

Presenters: Dr. Sharon Blackman, Dr. Andrew Jones, Dr. Brian Johnson, NCII

Respondent panel: Priyadarshini Chaplot and Dr. Jackie Greenle, NCII

Moderator: Dr. Rob Johnstone, NCII

Woman looking at another person next to window

SESSION #4, APRIL 9, 2021 Meeting employer needs: feedback loops and program quality

Describes how institutions and their leaders can create conditions for honest and actionable feedback to deliver quality programs.

Josh Wyner, Aspen Institute

Tess Henthorne, Program Manager at the College Excellence Program, Aspen Institute

Respondent panel: Dr. Sharon Blackman, Dr. Jim Jacobs, Bettina Celis, NCII

Moderator: Dr. Rob Johnstone, NCII

Two people look at paperwork on couch

SESSION #5, APRIL 16, 2021 Embedding student financial stability supports throughout the student experience

Offers strategies to embed student financial supports throughout the student experience, inside and outside the classroom in order for students to progress and complete their educational goals.

Presenters: Priyadarshini Chaplot, Dr. Jackie Greenlee, NCII

Moderator: Dr. Rob Johnstone, NCII

Respondent panel: Dr. Nicole Hurd, President & CEO, National College Advising Corps, Ed Bowling, Dr. Brian Johnson and Diego Navarro, NCII

Man with his eyes closed in front of gray backdrop

SESSION #6, APRIL 23, 2021 Student belonging and psychological safety: creating conditions of success for students of color

Focuses on the responsibility of helping Black and Hispanic-Latino students transition their innate strengths to career programs by creating conditions of belonging and psychological safety while teaching 21st century professional competencies.

Presenters: Diego Navarro, NCII and Jenny Ward, SVP Community Relations, Bank of America

Respondent panel: Priyadarshini Chaplot, Dr. Jackie Greenlee, Dr. Andrew Jones, NCII

Moderator: Dr. Rob Johnstone, NCII

Woman standing giving presentation

SESSION #7, MAY 7, 2021 Employer driven approaches to equity: workplace competency and culture

Emphasizes job and role competency mapping and assessment, underscoring how corporations can provide data-driven guidance and development opportunities with an equity lens for students who are prospective workers.

Presenters: Dr. Sharon Blackman, Dr. Andrew Jones, Dr. Brian Johnson, NCII

Respondent panel: Dr. Jim Jacobs, NCII, Ebony Thomas, SVP, Racial Equality and Economic Opportunity Initiative Program Executive, Bank of America, Vania Laguerre, Miami Market Executive, Bank of America

Moderator: Dr. Rob Johnstone, NCII

People discussing around a table

SESSION #8, MAY 21, 2021 From exploration to implementation: A design team framework

Introduces the NCII approach to supporting college design work.

Presenters: Dr. Rob Johnstone, Priyadarshini Chaplot, NCII

Respondent panel: Ed Bowling, Bettina Celis, NCII, Nathan Wistran, Bank of America Learning Solutions Development, Delivery & Management

Two people talk seated in an office

SESSION #9, JUNE 11, 2021 Exploring micro-aggressions in career-focused academic programs

Explores the cumulative effect of micro-aggressions on the student experience and review effective tools for reducing acts of subtle discrimination against others.

Presenters: Dr. Jackie Greenle, Diego Navarro, NCII

Respondent panel: Dr. Sharon Blackman, Dr. Brian Johnson, NCII

Moderator: Dr. Rob Johnstone, NCII

Arial view of student life on campus

SESSION #10, OCTOBER 1, 2021 Transforming our institutions into the social engineers of the opportunity ecosystem

Frames the opportunity ecosystem and discusses how colleges can transform themselves into social engineers addressing opportunity gaps for individuals of color as they look to develop their careers, including what is required of the institutions and community leaders to meet the challenge.

Speaker: Dr Michael Baston, President, Rockland Community College, State University of New York

Respondent panel: Dr. Sharon Blackman, Dr. Jim Jacobs, NCII

Moderator: Dr. Rob Johnstone, NCII

Student / young professional balancing work and life

SESSION #11, NOVEMBER 5, 2021 Student financial stability: Supporting short-term needs and long-term decisions to achieve equity

Explores the various roles that employers and community partners can play in supporting students' financial stability to help meet their basic needs and enable a viable path to higher education. Shares examples of how informed decisions improves economic and social mobility for students, colleges and universities, and employer partners.

Speakers: Priyadarshini Chaplot, Kelley Karandjeff, NCII

Case studies: Lacey Perry, SVP, Market Executive, Tucson Market, Bank of America

Dr. David Doré, President of Campuses and Executive Vice Chancellor, Pima Community College

Connie Montana, SVP, Community Relations Manager, Delaware Market, Bank of America

Nandita Das, Ph.D., Professor of Finance at Delaware State University, Founder-Owner, Das Financial Health, LLC

Respondent panel: Dr. Desiree Polk-Bland, Vice President of Student Affairs, Columbus State Community College

Gary Linnen, CEO of PeerForward

Moderator: Dr. Rob Johnstone, NCII

Team collaboration

SESSION #12, DECEMBER 3, 2021 College employer partner best practices

Underscores the importance of employer partner engagement and sustainability. Offers perspectives on the college/employer relationship. Shares opportunities for college/employer collaborations in support of student success beyond pledges to hire and reaffirms the importance of employer-partner engagement and its ability to create shared success for all.

Speakers: Katie S. Fischer, SVP, Market Executive, Bank of America St. Louis Market

Feleccia Moore-Davis, Ph.D., Campus President at St. Louis Community College: Meramec

Hart Nelson, Associate Vice Chancellor, Workforce Solutions Group at St. Louis Community College

Sarah Faupel, Talent Acquisition, Enterprise Holdings

Case studies: Veronica Aguilar, AVP, Community Outreach, Arizona State University

Lorenzo Chavez, AVP, Community Outreach & Partnerships, Arizona State University

Maria Echeveste, SVP, Community Relations Manager, Phoenix Market

Steve Partridge, VP of Strategy, Research & Workforce Innovation, Northern Virginia Community College

Dekeda Brown, AVP, Community Relations, Greater Washington DC Market

Respondent panel: Dr. Jim Jacobs, Ed Bowling, NCII

Moderator: Rob Johnstone, NCII

Man working on security system computers

SESSION #13, FEBRUARY 3, 2022 ESG, the economy and the future of jobs in a changing world

Lays the groundwork for a better understanding of ESG and its role in corporate America. Provides an outlook on the economy; the effect of inflation on job creation and the transformation of the world and what it means for the future of jobs in the United States and abroad.

Presenters: Savita Subramanian, Managing Director, Head of U.S. Equity and Quantitative Strategy & Head of ESG Research, Bank of America

Haim Israel, Global Strategist, Head of Global Thematic Investing Research, Bank of America Global Research

Stephen Juneau, Vice President, US Economic Research, Bank of America

College panel: Dr. Kannan Mohan, Professor Paul H. Chook Department of Information Systems and Statistics, Baruch College Zicklin School of Business

Dr. Cedrick Gibson, Associate Vice President for Workforce Development and Entrepreneurship, Florida State College Jacksonville

Respondent panel: Dr. Sharon Blackman, Dr. Jim Jacobs, NCII

Moderator: Dr. Rob Johnstone, NCII

Students laughing on campus

SESSION #14, FEBRUARY 25, 2022 Activating real change in the student experience: moving from design to implementation

Offers a framework and resources that will support the Jobs Initiative design teams tasked with creating institutional transformation. Leveraging NCII’s experience, colleges will learn to identify and navigate challenges that may be barriers to achieving overall buy-in and positive outcomes for their students of color.

Presenters: Dr. Rob Johnstone, Founder and President, Bettina Celis, Ed Bowling, NCII

College panel: Dr. Shawnta Friday-Stroud, Vice President for University Advancement and Executive Director of FAMU Foundation, Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University (FAMU)

NaKyla Smith, TechQuity Program Coordinator, Harold Washington College

Students working together on campus

SESSION #15, MARCH 25, 2022 Diversity, equity and inclusion – sharing perspectives

The Signature Jobs Initiative’s goals are: to increase the pipeline for diverse hiring; to increase economic returns for communities of color via entry into high-wage in-demand careers; and lastly, to build sustainable infrastructure at the colleges to maintain collaborative hiring partnerships. To meet these goals, it’s imperative for colleges and universities to understand the diverse hiring strategies of their employer partners. The intent for the session is to have a conversation on DEI hiring. We will hear from college leaders and Bank of America Executives on diverse hiring strategies with small and large companies.

Presenter: Cynthia H. Bowman, Chief Diversity & Inclusion and Talent Acquisition Officer, Bank of America

College and market panel: Dorna Werdelin, Vice President of Communications, Marketing, and Public Relations, Atlanta Technical College

Loretta Ovueraye, Ed.D. Vice Provost, Workforce Programs and Professional Learning, Miami Dade College

Vania Laguerre, SVP, Miami Market Executive, Bank of America

Respondent panel: Dr. Jackie Greenlee, Dr. Andrew Jones, NCII

Moderator: Dr. Rob Johnstone, NCII

Man looking at whiteboard full of formulas

SESSION #16, APRIL 22, 2022 Skill development and competency mapping

This session will explore the professional skills aligned to employer needs. Topics include: (1) professional skills that leverage an individuals’ cultures and background; (2) professional skills such as collaborative leadership, working in teams, and managing conflict; and (3) working on the "technical" side of competency mapping with our employer partners to ensure skills developed in training programs are aligned to skills required on the job.

Presenters: Dr. Andrew Jones, Diego Navarro, NCII

Amy Gurley, Senior Vice President, The Academy at Bank of America

College panel: Arleen Hernández-Díaz, Full Professor, School of Business, University of Puerto Rico, Rio Piedras

Joscelyne M. Brazile, Assistant Vice Chancellor for Major gifts and Constituent Giving, North Carolina AT&T State University

Moderator: Dr. Rob Johnstone, NCII

Man and woman working on a project on a board

SESSION #17, MAY 13, 2022 Key performance indicators to create a return-on-investment for your college partners

As college partners move through the implementation stage, it’s critical that sustainability of the program is fully explored. The session covers key issues on program sustainability, support features, as well as NCII’s return-on-investment (ROI) model that can be customized for each of the colleges. The model explores not only the incremental costs of innovation and doing things differently as a result of the Jobs Initiative-supported change work, and the potential revenue to be gained by successfully moving the needle on key performance indicators (KPIs) that translate into additional revenue for the college.

Presenter: Dr. Rob Johnstone, NCII

College panel: Mary E. Gorman, Vice President for Enrollment Management & Strategic Academic Initiatives, Baruch College

Man extending hand for a handshake

SESSION #18, SEPTEMBER 16, 2022 Elevating professional skills to promote career readiness

A review of professional skills training modules developed by The Academy at Bank of America and available at no cost to all college/university partners and students. The sessions includes a discussion with academic institutions on the skills and professional development needs of their students and how employers can help provide resources to support student career success.

Group of people working around a table

SESSION #19, OCTOBER 21, 2022 Strategic finance: aligning resources to mission

An exploration of strategic financing with a focus on revenue and expense management in support of long-term goals. The session introduces a framework developed by the Aspen Institute that will help academic institutions ensure their strategic resources are aligned to mission. It also shares opportunities for partnerships with CDFI organizations to help enable operational and infrastructure development.

Four students working on technical equipment

SESSION #20, DECEMBER 9, 2022 Partnering with employers

Employer engagement plays a critical role in the early identification and training of the skills students need to be successful. This session brings companies, colleges, and universities together to discuss how active partnerships can deliver diverse talent that meets employers’ needs. It also focuses on how higher education institutions can effectively partner with employers to ensure student career success.

Man looking in the mirror fixing his tie

SESSION #21, FEBRUARY 24, 2023 The student experience; the student voice

The student voice is critical to successful implementation of educational reform and school improvement. It helps educators, employers, and community leaders effectively prioritize what is most important to prepare our students for long-term success. It also goes a long way to increasing a student’s sense of belonging and empowerment. In this session we hear from students directly as they share their experiences, challenges, and other insights on their journey to academic and career success.

Scientist holding a computer chip

SESSION #22, MARCH 16, 2023 Transforming World: The megatrends shaping business and society

The rise of Artificial Intelligence and the impact of demographic, geopolitical and environmental transformation, means we are heading into some of the fastest social and economic changes in human history. Immortality, technological singularity, and a quantum revolution are just some of the radical shifts we could reach at the end of this decade. In this session, be intrigued as Bank of America’s Thematic Investing Research team explores the future of technology and the megatrends that will transform our world.