13 Graduate From AWEE’s BankWorks Program

13 Graduate From AWEE’s BankWorks Program

Thirteen men and women from Avondale, Chandler, Glendale, Goodyear, Mesa, Queen Creek, Phoenix, Scottsdale and Surprise will graduate on Wednesday from the intensive 8-week, 168-hour BankWork$™ program prepared for careers in the financial industry.

Arizona Women’s Education and Employment (AWEE) launched the program in 2015 in partnership with BankWork$™ and local banking partners to deepen its long-time work with adults from low-income and minority communities and those with barriers to employment.

Following the graduation ceremony, graduates will participate in a job fair to fill positions at financial institutions including Wells Fargo, Bank of America, MidFirst Bank, Western Alliance Bank, Comerica Bank and AmTrust Bank.  Graduation begins at 10:30 a.m. Wednesday, Dec. 7 at the Arizona Central Credit Union, 2020 N. Central Ave., Level P.  The job fair will take place immediately afterwards. To date, 17 of the previous graduates have been hired by local banks.

Members of the fourth BankWork$™ graduating class are Alex Chacon (Phoenix), Amber Rogers (Phoenix), Chelsea Correa (San Tan Valley/Queen Creek), Diana Mata (Chandler), Ellen Hodge (Glendale), Eltina Farmer (Goodyear), Magdalena Najera (Phoenix), Mariana Trujillo (Avondale), Mayra Velasquez (Phoenix), Meenu Sharma (Scottsdale), Robin Hastings (Surprise), Rosalind Johnson (Phoenix) and Valerie Gutierrez (Mesa).
“BankWork$™ is a proven, successful program that helps women and men prepare for careers in the financial industry,” said AWEE President and CEO Marie Sullivan. “Going directly from the graduation ceremony to the job fair reflects the confidence that local financial institutions have in the program because they are hiring on the spot.”

Applications for the fifth BankWork$™ class are now being accepted. Start date is January 11, 2017.  For information and to apply, call (602) 223-4349 or email bankworks@awee.org.

BankWork$™ launched in 2006 in Los Angeles and currently places about 200 graduates each year. By 2019, BankWork$™ will be operating in 15 or more cities nationwide. Its $4-million national expansion is funded by Bank of America, U.S. Bank and Wells Fargo, which have each pledged $1 million over five years to support the rollout, and by The Sheri and Les Biller Family Foundation, which founded the program and has also pledged $1 million.
Since its launch, BankWork$™ has successfully placed more than 800 graduates who were hired by banks and other financial institutions.

BankWork$™ achieves a graduation rate of approximately 75% and is placing approximately 70% of graduates with partner banks each year. BankWork$™ graduates also stay employed in their jobs: retention rates for 2012 BankWork$™ graduates showed that 86% were employed six months after their hire date and 72% one year from their hire date.

BankWork$™ classes are free for participants. The classes run for eight weeks and provide training in the skills needed for jobs as tellers, customer service representatives and personal bankers. The course culminates in a graduation and job fair with local banking partners, giving graduates the opportunity to interview for jobs immediately.
BankWork$™ also offers resume building, job interview practice, job placement assistance and ongoing coaching and mentoring to help with career advancement. Participants must be 18 years or older, have a high school diploma or GED, be fluent in written and spoken English, have basic computer skills and no adult felony convictions.
For more information about BankWork$™, visit www.bankworks.org.  For more information about AWEE, visit www.awee.org. Follow AWEE BankWork$™ online at facebook.com/aweebankworks.
About BankWork$™: The program was started in 2006 in Los Angeles by The Sheri and Les Biller Family Foundation and currently runs in Los Angeles, Seattle and Phoenix, placing more than 200 individuals in banking careers every year. As part of a five-year, $4-million national expansion in partnership with Bank of America, U.S. Bank and Wells Fargo, operations also have been added in San Francisco and Portland, Ore. before moving to a total of 15+ cities by 2019. For more information, see www.bankworks.org.

About Arizona Women’s Education and Employment (AWEE)
AWEE has been transforming the lives of Arizonans into “faces of success” for more than 35 years. Since our inception, we have helped create successful beginnings and renewed hope for more than 200,000 women, men and young adults. Gone are the days of simply moving people off welfare. Today, the nonprofit AWEE is Arizona’s preeminent workforce development organization, offering a diverse range of evidence-based training and support services throughout Maricopa County.  For more information, visit www.awee.org or call (602) 223-4333.

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