Northern Virginia Community College and Bank of America have announced a $1 million jobs initiative partnership to help students of color successfully complete the education and training necessary to enter the workforce.
This initiative builds on Bank of America’s ongoing work in Virginia to address the underlying issues facing individuals and communities of color who have been disproportionately impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, said Larry Di Rita, Bank of America's market president for the Washington area.
“Bank of America looks forward to working with NOVA and other employers in the DMV to identify needed skills and help create economic opportunity and a path to employment for qualified, well-trained talent,” he added.
With the support from Bank of America, Northern Virginia Community College will develop new programs and enhance existing ones to meet specific skills gaps, creating higher paying, family-sustaining jobs that are in demand. Bank of America will work alongside employers in Northern Virginia and around the state to ensure these programs target specific hiring needs and create a clearly defined career pathway to future employment.
NOVA President Anne M. Kress said, “NOVA is committed to ensuring that every student achieves and every community prospers, and with this investment, we will connect even more students to in-demand workforce pathways that lead to meaningful, sustaining careers.”
So far in 2020, Bank of America has provided more than $3 million in job-initiative grants to nonprofits that are connecting individuals to skills and employment in Northern Virginia and the Washington area. Of that total, 90% has been donated to organizations led by people of color or that predominantly serve people of color.
In September, Bank of America began a strategic jobs-initiative partnership with the Virginia Ready Initiative, which seeks to retrain Virginians for in-demand employment through training assistance and credential achievement awards. Currently, more than 100 people across Northern Virginia and more than 500 across the state are being retrained for the workforce through the VA Ready program. The top three credentials include Medical Assistant, CompTIA A+, and certified Billing and Coding.
These initiatives are part of the bank’s recent $1 billion, four-year commitment to advance racial equality and economic opportunity.
“While it was easier for jobseekers to secure employment in our pre-COVID economy, it still wasn’t ‘easy’; many people, especially those in communities of colors, struggled to find sustainable jobs due to the disconnect between education and industry,” said Caren Merrick, CEO of VA Ready.