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Bank of America provides $1M to DSU

Delaware News Desk
Stock photo.

Bank of America recently provided $1 million to Delaware State University for a jobs initiative partnership to help students of color successfully complete the education and training necessary to enter the workforce.

The initiative builds on Bank of America’s ongoing work in Delaware to address the underlying issues facing individuals and communities of color who have been disproportionately impacted by the current health crisis.

“Bank of America is committed to advancing racial equality and economic opportunity in Delaware, helping a diverse group of young adults gain skills and experience that will put them on a path to success,” said Chip Rossi, Delaware market president for Bank of America. “Our longstanding partnership with DSU builds on our efforts to advance economic mobility through a focus on education and workforce development.”

This year, the bank provided almost $4 million to nonprofits in Delaware focused on economic mobility and connecting individuals with opportunities to obtain skills and employment. This initiative is part of the bank’s recent $1 billion, four-year commitment to advance racial equality and economic opportunity, and its $25 million commitment to enhance upskilling and re-skilling for Black/African American and Hispanic-Latino individuals.

“Sustained corporate engagement is an absolute necessity for changing the landscape for millions of talented students of color,” says Harry Williams, president of the Thurgood Marshall College Fund. “What Bank of America is doing today is initiating a process that will literally change the roadmap to success for these young people, and I am very excited about the prospect.”

Including DSU, the $25 million, nationwide initiative includes partnerships with almost two dozen community colleges that serve predominantly Black/African American and Hispanic-Latino students, public historically Black colleges and universities and public Hispanic-serving institutions. Bank of America is also partnering with and providing funding to the Aspen Institute to convene the participating higher education institutions for technical and programmatic assistance and to share best practices.

With the support from Bank of America, DSU will enhance existing programs into an integrated set of career pathways to meet specific skills gaps, increase internship opportunities, and develop stronger career-related networks that ultimately lead to good-paying jobs in a variety of disciplines and companies. Rossi continued, “This is about a partnership with DSU to help leverage other companies from a variety of industries to commit to enhancing their own talent pipelines with high-quality, talented young professionals of color.”

DSU President Tony Allen added, “In my career in private, public and nonprofit sectors, I have heard many leaders who called for more Black talent across their organizations faced with a common retort: ‘We are having trouble finding them.’ The earnest truth is that these organizations need to be more intentional. Today’s HBCUs represent only 3% of the nation’s colleges and universities, but are still graduating almost 25% of Black college students, including 50% of Black engineers, 50% of Black teachers, 70% of Black doctors, 65% of Black attorneys and judges, and many, many more. We are expecting our partnership with Bank of America to be a model of our community and welcome other committed companies to the table.”

DSU will enhance existing programs such as the Delaware Executive Exchange Program into an integrated set of wraparound career readiness services to meet specific skills gaps; increase internship opportunities; and develop relationships to prepare students for higher paying, life-changing careers. Bank of America will work alongside companies like Delmarva Power, an Exelon Company, and other employers in Delaware and across the nation to ensure these programs target specific hiring needs and create a clearly defined career pathway to future employment.

For information: bankofamerica.com.