Bank of America Provides $400K, Partners with The Center for Working Families and the Atlanta Music Project to Boost Job Training, Employment and Education Opportunities for Underserved Families in Atlanta.
Support comes as part of Bank of America’s Neighborhood Builders® program, which empowers nonprofits to address pressing community challenges.
Atlanta, GA (November 2016) – Bank of America has announced The Center for Working Families and the Atlanta Music Project as 2016 Neighborhood Builders. The nonprofits are being recognized for their work in underserved neighborhoods in south and west Atlanta, which in turn supports the sustainable growth of the community. Through Neighborhood Builders (#NeighborhoodBuilders), the bank provides each nonprofit with a unique combination of leadership development, $200,000 in flexible funding, a network of peer organizations across the U.S. and the opportunity to access capital in order to expand their impact in the Atlanta community.
“The Center for Working Families and the Atlanta Music Project exemplify the critical role that nonprofits and their leaders play to build thriving communities and pathways to economic progress in Atlanta,” said Wendy Stewart, Atlanta market president, Bank of America. “These organizations are a part of a simultaneous effort to support working parents and their children. Working parents and those seeking employment benefit from The Center for Working Families’ Two Generation (2G) approach of providing job training and family supports for its clients, while elementary through high school students benefit from the creative and rigorous music education that the Atlanta Music Project offers.”
As a Neighborhood Builder, The Center for Working Families will further its mission to help unemployed and underemployed individuals gain family-supporting jobs, advance careers or education while helping Atlanta meet its ever growing demand for a well-trained workforce. The organization plans to build its workforce development staff, including a new workforce development manager to help galvanize support, volunteers and fundraising.
Since opening, The Center for Working Families has served more than 10,000 families. They have placed participants in more than 2,000 family-supporting jobs and connected over 4,000 households to income enhancing benefits which have returned more than $7.3 million to the community. Despite the challenges for families living in neighborhood planning areas, the organization has quickly risen to be best in class at placing vulnerable populations in jobs that lead to economic independence.
“Bank of America’s Neighborhood Builders grant will jumpstart our expanded workforce development strategy, resulting in new employer partnerships, enhanced soft and hard skills training programs and ultimately, stronger employment and retention outcomes for families,” said Che D. Watkins, President and CEO, The Center for Working Families. “We can’t underscore the importance of this funding enough, not just for the Center, but for the community at large. The Neighborhood Builders grant will allow us to increase our footprint to serve even more families who share the same desires and aspirations as those with means – safety for themselves and their children, gainful employment and a thriving community.”
Founded in 2010, the Atlanta Music Project provides intensive, tuition-free music education for underserved youth in their neighborhoods. Serving 250 students at five sites, the Atlanta Music Project provides instruments, a teaching artist, classes and numerous public performance opportunities. Its impact has been widely recognized. In 2016 the White House named the Atlanta Music Project one of the top 50 after-school arts programs in the nation.
The Atlanta Music Project will leverage Neighborhood Builders’ networking access and grant money to begin an effort to build a new headquarters, coinciding with the continued revitalization of the south and west sides of the city. In the spirit of a community music conservatory, the Atlanta Music Project headquarters will eventually house rehearsal spaces, performance facilities, classrooms and office space.
“We are humbled and ecstatic to be the recipients of a 2016 Bank of America Neighborhood Builders grant,” said Dantes Rameau, Co-Founder and Executive Director, the Atlanta Music Project. “This award is the funding catalyst that will allow us to establish the headquarters space we’ve dreamt about, right in the neighborhoods we serve. We look forward to continuing our contributions to the community through music for many years to come. Thank you to the Bank of America Charitable Foundation for their support and partnership.”
Since 2004, through Neighborhood Builders, Bank of America has helped nonprofits increase impact in their communities and better prepare for the future by providing the tools and resources they need to develop stronger strategic plans, navigate tough economic times and enhance funding opportunities. Since the program’s inception, the bank has invested more than $5 million across 24 Atlanta area non-profits. Awardees are selected by a local market selection committee of community leaders from diverse sectors. Previous Neighborhood Builders include Atlanta Mission, Boys and Girls Club of Atlanta, Covenant House Georgia, Families First, Our House and Open Hand.
“The Neighborhood Builders award has not only financially helped us to significantly impact our work but one of the greatest gifts of the award is it’s excellent leadership training for myself and an emerging leader on our team,” said James H. Reese, President and CEO, Atlanta Mission, a 2015 recipient. “This training and exposure to other great leaders from across the country has helped me in thinking even more about achieving larger impact and how to accomplish it.”
Neighborhood Builders epitomizes the bank’s work to address issues fundamental to economic mobility in order to build strong communities and illustrates how strong cross-sector partnerships and local community leaders can play a meaningful role in positioning communities for success. Nationally, the bank has given $180 million to 900 nonprofit organizations and provided leadership resources to nearly 2,000 nonprofit leaders. The program has been recognized as the nation’s largest philanthropic investment in nonprofit leadership development.
About The Center for Working Families
The mission of The Center for Working Families, Inc. (TCWFI) is to advance economic success for hard-working families and their children through workforce development, economic supports and asset building. Launched in 2006 with support from the Annie E. Casey Foundation, TCWFI provides a holistic bundle of services including soft and hard skills training, workforce development, housing counseling, legal advocacy and financial literacy and asset building programs designed to meet the needs of families living in Atlanta’s Southside neighborhoods.
About Bank of America Environmental, Social and Governance
At Bank of America, our focus on Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) factors is critical to fulfilling our purpose of helping make people’s financial lives better. Our commitment to growing our business responsibly is embedded in every aspect of our company. It is demonstrated in the inclusive and supportive workplace we create for our employees, the responsible products and services we offer our customers, and the impact we help create around the world in helping local economies thrive. An important part of this work is forming strong partnerships across sectors – including community and environmental advocate groups, as well as non-profits – in order to bring together our collective networks and expertise to achieve greater impact. Learn more at www.bankofamerica.com/about and connect with us on Twitter at @BofA_News.