CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - Bank of America is teaming up with Central Piedmont Community College for a $1-million jobs initiative aimed at creating educational and career opportunities for students of color.
“We’ve been waiting for this announcement for a while, and it’s really an exciting day,” said Bank of America Charlotte Market President Charles Bowman. “Bank of America is proud to make this one-million-dollar investment in Central Piedmont and their efforts for skilling and re-skilling.”
The local partnership with the bank is one of 21 partnerships nationwide with higher education institutions.
“It’s really important to us, because for years we’ve been promoting the cause for economic mobility and recently in the last number of months we made a commitment to really address issues of racial equity,” said Bowman. “We think this is really a big part of collaborating with organizations locally and this is to really get at that.”
Bank of America executives say the partnership is part of its recently announced 4-year commitment to advance racial equity and economic mobility. The funds will be aimed at helping to develop or enhance existing programs to help bridge skill gaps and create higher-paying jobs that are in demand.
“We know that a year or two years of post-high school education particularly at a community college contributes to a lifetime of earnings and so all of that research really validates that you get a couple of years behind you in school and you’re going to earn more money over your lifetime,” says Bowman.
Bowman adds that coupled with efforts to help students learn new skills as job opportunities change provides a wider opportunity for future employment.
“Jobs change a lot and in today’s society speed of change is exponential,” said Bowman. “A job that’s there today, may not be there tomorrow, so you have to continue to upskill, reskill, pivot and change to be employable in the future.”
In addition to the financial investment, Bank of America has also given Central Piedmont a “Leader on Loan” to focus on diversity and inclusion and to help facilitate the partnership.
Locally and across the country, Bank of America is also partnering with and providing funding to the Aspen Institute to share best practices among the higher education institutions that are a part of the partnership.
North Carolina A&T State University in Greensboro was also selected as a partnership institution as part of the national initiative.