The Bank of America Charitable Foundation has announced $275,000 in grants to 20 nonprofits providing workforce development and education opportunities in Valley communities including Phoenix, Scottsdale, Tempe and Chandler. The grants are part of Bank of America’s focus on employment opportunities and preparing the under-employed and the next generation of workers with the skills needed for careers in the evolving workforce.
Despite an improving state unemployment rate that fell from 6.6 percent in October 2014 to 6.2 percent in March according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, jobs remain elusive for low- and middle-income communities. The 20 nonprofits receiving the grants connect low-income individuals and families to financial education, job training, workforce development and/or mentoring at their point of need.
“The social and economic benefits of employment have been proven time and time again, providing confidence, optimism and stability to our families,” said Bank of America Arizona Market President Benito Almanza. “Our philanthropic investments are one way that we’re working to connect individuals in our community to the resources they need to lead financially stable lives.”
Funding will be used to support the following programs, among others:
• Arizona Women’s Education & Employment programs to assist women, men, young adults and mature workers prepare for, find and keep jobs to establish their financial independence.
• ICAN Improving Chandler Area Neighbohoods’ Youth Development Programs that encourage youth to complete their high school graduation through programs providing educational support and character-building skills needed to be productive and self-confident young adults.
• International Rescue Committee’s efforts to help refugees achieve economic self-sufficiency and self-reliance by successfully obtaining their first job in America.
Other organizations receiving funding are: Aguila Youth Leadership Institute, Inc.; Arizona Career Pathways; Arizona Council on Economic Education; Be A Leader Foundation; Goodwill Industries of Central Arizona; Jr. Achievement of Arizona; Money Management International, Inc.; National Advocacy & Training Network; New Pathways for Youth, Inc.; St. Joseph the Worker; UMOM New Day Centers, Inc.; ACCEL; ACCION; Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Scottsdale; Educare Arizona; Jewish Family & Children’s Service; and Tempe Community Council Incorporated.
“Helping women, men, young adults and mature workers find and keep jobs is essential in building their financial stability, financial independence and in creating stronger communities and neighborhoods,” said Marie Sullivan, President and CEO of Arizona Women’s Education & Employment (AWEE). “The broad support of Bank of America and our business community is vital in achieving our mission to change lives through the dignity of work. We are grateful for Bank of America’s unwavering commitment to the community.”
In 2014, the Bank of America Charitable Foundation awarded more than $2.3 million in grants to Arizona nonprofits in the form of grants and partnerships. Additionally, local employees volunteered more than 105,600 hours last year.