Collaborative effort to assist individuals in eight cities earn livable wage
Submitted by Fifth Third Bancorp
CINCINNATI, June 29, 2021 /CSRwire/ - Fifth Third Bank, National Association, and the National Urban League today announced a new workforce development program that will provide career advancement opportunities through providing upskilling and re-skilling services to under-employed participants over the course of the next two years. This $1 million investment from the Fifth Third Foundation will help individuals across eight selected affiliate Urban League organizations gain meaningful employment and earn a livable wage.
“We are pleased to deepen our relationship with the National Urban League by establishing an initiative that provides a foundation for individuals to develop and refine their skills,” said Kala Gibson, Fifth Third’s head of business banking and chief enterprise corporate social responsibility officer who also serves as a National Urban League board member. “Programs that address career readiness are fundamental to leveling the playing field and giving marginalized individuals a better chance to succeed.”
Studies show that, before COVID-19’s devastating impact on the economy, occupations and industries such as retail, hospitality and food services were vulnerable to workplace changes such as increased automation. Those same studies also showed that these jobs offered no pathway to career advancement and were overrepresented by low-wage workers of color.
“Low-wage workers, already struggling before COVID-19, were made even more vulnerable by the pandemic. With strategic intervention from opportunities such as the Workforce Development Program, these individuals can find a pathway to economic stability,” said Marc H. Morial, National Urban League President and CEO. “Fifth Third Bank’s partnership with the National Urban League will create brighter financial outcomes for those most in need as we move into a post-pandemic world.”
The program will be offered in Charlotte, North Carolina; Chicago; Cincinnati, Cleveland and Dayton, Ohio; Grand Rapids, Michigan; Indianapolis; Louisville, Kentucky, and Nashville, Tennessee. The affiliate cities were selected as a result of their experience and the strength of their career advancement employment-opportunity programs, the number of local underemployed and unemployed workers, and strong community partnerships.
The program will provide career counseling services and connect participants to career advancement credentialing and certification opportunities. It also will provide training through the following existing offerings:
Nila Kennedy-Young, a 17-year-old participant in the Urban Youth Empowerment program in Cincinnati, said the job readiness and professional development training that she has experienced are preparing her for the future. “I’ve learned interviewing skills and how to budget my finances. I will use what I’ve learned as I prepare to go to college, enter the workforce and manage money.” She said the Urban League staff and coaches were helpful. “Some people don’t have a support system but the entire workforce team was so supportive and encouraging. They were easy to talk to and understanding. They would tell us, “once an Urban Leaguer, always an Urban Leaguer” and we knew they cared about us.”
Fifth Third’s investment is part of the Bank’s $2.8 billion Accelerating Racial Equality, Equity and Inclusion initiative that was introduced in 2020 with a specific focus on the Bank’s Black employees, customers and communities. The workforce development program directly aligns with the community workstream of the AREEI strategy and demonstrates the Bank’s commitment to social justice and advocacy work that provides greater access to jobs and skills for minority and low-wage workers.
To learn more about the National Urban League’s Workforce Development Program, please visit: https://nul.org/jobs. To learn more about Fifth Third’s Accelerating Racial Equality, Equity and Inclusion initiative, please visit: www.53.com/racialequity.
About Fifth Third
Fifth Third Bancorp is a diversified financial services company headquartered in Cincinnati, Ohio, and the indirect parent company of Fifth Third Bank, National Association, a federally chartered institution. As of March 31, 2021, Fifth Third had $207 billion in assets and operated 1,098 full-service banking centers and 2,383 ATMs with Fifth Third branding in Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana, Michigan, Illinois, Florida, Tennessee, West Virginia, Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina. In total, Fifth Third provides its customers with access to approximately 53,000 fee-free ATMs across the United States. Fifth Third operates four main businesses: Commercial Banking, Branch Banking, Consumer Lending and Wealth & Asset Management. Fifth Third is among the largest money managers in the Midwest and, as of March 31, 2021, had $464 billion in assets under care, of which it managed $58 billion for individuals, corporations and not-for-profit organizations through its Trust and Registered Investment Advisory businesses. Investor information and press releases can be viewed at www.53.com. Fifth Third’s common stock is traded on the Nasdaq® Global Select Market under the symbol “FITB.” Fifth Third Bank was established in 1858. Deposit and Credit products are offered by Fifth Third Bank, National Association. Member FDIC.
About the National Urban League
The National Urban League is a historic civil rights organization dedicated to economic empowerment in order to elevate the standard of living in historically underserved urban communities. The National Urban League spearheads the efforts of its 90 local affiliates through the development of programs, public policy research and advocacy, providing direct services that impact and improve the lives of more than 2 million people annually nationwide. Visit www.nul.org and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram: @NatUrbanLeague.
Danielle Jones (Media Relations)
Danielle.Jones@53.com | 513-534-0162
Chris Doll (Investor Relations)
Christopher.Doll@53.com | 513-534-2345
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