SPRINGFIELD, Ill., Feb. 1, 2017 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Illinois Bankers Association (IBA) announced that it has partnered with BankWork$® and Association House of Chicago to offer a free training program that places low-income young adults and those with barriers to employment in jobs in the financial services industry. BankWork$® already offers the program in several cities across the country – Los Angeles, Seattle, San Francisco, Phoenix, Houston, Portland, Ore. and Denver – and it began in Chicago in late 2016.
The IBA was involved in training the first class of BankWork$® students last year and saw the benefits of entering into a partnership. "One of the biggest challenges for Illinois banks today is finding qualified entry-level employees," said IBA President and CEO Linda Koch. "This program not only trains students for the financial services industry, but it also teaches them soft skills, like customer service and how to stand out in a job interview. We recognized that this helps fulfill one of our association goals of connecting quality talent with financial institutions and reached out to them about a partnership."
BankWork$® partners with leading nonprofit vocational training organizations in each market, like Association House of Chicago, that deliver the program locally. The eight-week course equips graduates with the hard and soft skills needed to become qualified candidates for in-demand jobs at local bank branches. The program had a 76 percent placement rate in 2016, and 82 percent of graduates placed in jobs in the financial services industry remain employed six months after graduation. The IBA will promote the BankWork$® program as well as other services such as job interview practice, placement assistance and ongoing coaching and mentoring to help with career advancement, to its members.
"BankWork$® has propelled more than 1,400 graduates across the country into careers in the financial services industry," said Colleen Anderson, Executive Director at BankWork$®. "These jobs as bank tellers, customer service representatives and personal bankers are a path to stability and are stepping stones to rewarding careers in the financial services industry."
Association House of Chicago is a historic settlement house that offers human services programs that address both immediate needs and long-term personal development.
It serves a multicultural, largely Latino and African-American population of all ages in Chicago's under-served neighborhoods.
"There is often a gap between earning a high school diploma and having the skills and confidence needed to start a professional career," said Harriet Sadauskas, President of Association House of Chicago. "The training provided by BankWork$® prepares individuals for a sustainable career with the possibility for advancement. It's an opportunity that could be a life-changer for many of the people that we serve."
About the Illinois Bankers Association
The Illinois Bankers Association is a full-service trade association dedicated to creating a positive business climate that benefits the entire banking industry and the communities they serve. Founded in 1891, the IBA brings together state and national banks and savings banks of all sizes in Illinois. For more information, visit www.ilbanker.com.
BankWork$® was started in 2006 in Los Angeles by The Sheri and Les Biller Family Foundation in partnership with regional workforce development leader JVS Los Angeles. The program currently has operations in Los Angeles, Seattle, San Francisco, Phoenix, Portland, Ore., Houston, Denver and Chicago, and it will be in 12-15 markets by 2019. For more information, visit www.bankworks.org.
About Association House of Chicago
Association House of Chicago is a non-profit organization offering human services programs that address both immediate and personal development needs. Based in Greater Humboldt Park, Association House works with a multicultural, largely Latino and African-American population of all ages in Chicago's under-served neighborhoods. Find out more at www.associationhouse.org.
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SOURCE Illinois Bankers Association