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Fueling economic growth through jobs and skills development

Working with local nonprofits, employers and broader networks across the country, Bank of America is supporting the skills training needed to meet demands for a diverse talent pipeline.

Mastery of a trade or job skill can have as significant impact on lifetime earnings as a college degree. Yet, according to the most recent Bureau of Labor Statistics information, almost 45% of the workforce is defined as low or underskilledfootnote1. Drilling into the data reveals a more complex social picture as well: Black and Hispanic-Latino people make up a clear majorityfootnote2 of the underskilled workforce. The disparity has been compounded by the coronavirus, during which the Black and Hispanic-Latino communities have seen disproportionate job loss. Despite this, McKinsey recently reported that some 30 million underskilled workers could increase their income by as much as 70% if they receive skill or education accreditation.footnote3

“Bank of America, with our deep connections in the communities we serve and our ability to convene other partners, is uniquely positioned to help develop long-term career opportunities,” says Bank of America CEO Brian Moynihan.

production line worker

Building competencies and skills inside and outside of college

To help reduce the skills gap across the country and meet demands for a pipeline of diverse talent, Bank of America is convening nonprofit partners and employers, including its own clients, as well as broader networks such as local chambers of commerce, with the goal of supporting skills-training programs and a clear path to employment for individuals in local communities across the country. For example, local employers can work directly with nonprofits, higher education institutions and/or other skills-building organizations to ensure that students are trained and certified with specific skills that are locally in demand, i.e., those needed for IT jobs. In turn, employers are encouraged to set tangible hiring goals and commit to graduates.

This initiative builds on the Bank’s longstanding commitment to workforce development through its philanthropy as well as its own hiring commitments, and aligns to its $1.25 billion, five-year commitment to advance racial equality and economic opportunity. For instance, last year, the Bank announced a jobs initiative designed to hone skills and boost career advancement for Black and Hispanic-Latino students through partnerships with community colleges, historically Black colleges and universities, and Hispanic-serving institutions and major employers in 19 communities across the U.S.

Creating opportunities at the bank

As part of these efforts, Bank of America is reinforcing its longstanding practice of hiring and developing a diverse workforce, and ensuring inclusive workplaces in communities around the country, by committing to hire from this talent pool.

The bank has developed initiatives such as its Pathways program – which exceeded its goal to hire 10,000 people from low-and moderate-income communities – to create a diverse talent pipeline for the company. It also partnered with top business leaders to create one million jobs for Black Americans over the next ten years through the OneTen coalition, and joined the Business Roundtable’s effort to reform hiring and talent management practices by emphasizing the value of skills in an effort to improve equity, diversity and workplace culture.

Explore more of Bank of America’s commitment to advancing racial equality and economic opportunity in local communities across the country, including support for small businesses, addressing food insecurity, increasing access to healthcare and more.