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Goodwill Industries Names Bank of America Large Employer of the Year

Published 04-20-00

Submitted by Bank of America Corporation

Some of the more impressive numbers at Bank of America have less to do with interest rates, CDs and IRAs, and more to do with the hundreds of individuals the company and Goodwill Industries are moving off welfare and into well-paying jobs in the banking industry.

Seattle Goodwill Industries and Bank of America have collaborated on an innovative four-week curriculum that prepares individuals for positions such as ATM/proof operators, vault processors, return items clerks, account services clerks, customer service operators and more. To date, 65 of 66 trainees in the program have moved into good paying jobs at Bank of America. Even more significant is that the program boasts a 93 percent retention rate.

"People need more than just jobs. Effective welfare reform requires a broader look at the challenges and issues facing welfare recipients and the low-income communities where they live," says Karen Shawcross, Bank of America's National Program Manager for Welfare-to-Self-Sufficiency. "Our program with Goodwill is a natural complement to the bank's community development commitment, going beyond bricks and mortar, to focus on an investment in people."

The success of the Seattle Goodwill program prompted Bank of America to introduce the training model to Goodwill Industries of Southern California in Los Angeles. In addition, Bank of America has hired 49 individuals from a bank training program at Goodwill Industries of Dallas (TX) and more than 100 graduates from several regular Goodwill office skills training classes. A six-week customized program in Atlanta will roll out in June. Bank of America plans to hire 600-800 new employees by the end of 2000.

"Thanks to Bank of America, hundreds of welfare recipients are getting a good job with great benefits and, more importantly, unlimited opportunities for advancement," says Fred Grandy, President and CEO of Goodwill Industries International. "Bank of America has emerged as a leader of businesses that are working to help welfare recipients enter the workforce and embark on a new career."

Goodwill Industries International has named Bank of America (Seattle, WA) the organization's 2000 Large Employer of the Year. The award honors a business that employs more than 200 people and has demonstrated outstanding innovation in providing training and meaningful employment for Goodwill clients.

Bank of America staff at all levels praise the caliber of their Goodwill hires. "When managers are looking for new staff, they say 'Give me one of those Goodwill people,'" says Sue Feeder, Vice President and Welfare-to-Work Coordinator at Bank of America in Seattle. "They are among our best employees, capable, reliable and loyal."

"Goodwill is able to meet our needs 100%," says Julie Franke, Vice President and Regional Staffing Manager at Bank of America in Los Angeles. "Goodwill delivers exactly what the bank needs."

According to the company, there is "unlimited potential for hiring future Goodwill graduates." Welfare-to-work programs are supported at every level of the organization - including the Bank of America Board of Directors. With $656 billion in assets, Bank of America is the largest bank in the United States, providing financial products and services to 30 million households and two million businesses. Bank of America also provides international corporate financial services for business transactions in 190 countries.

Goodwill Industries International is a network of 182 local, autonomous member organizations in the United States and Canada, and 45 international associate members in 34 countries. Each organization serves people with disabilities and other special needs by providing job training and employment programs, as well as job placement opportunities. Through its services, the network helps people overcome barriers to employment and become independent, tax-paying members of their communities. In 1999, Goodwill Industries International served over 373,000 individuals and reported $1.65 billion in revenue.

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