The Bank of America Charitable Foundation has named The Hope Program (HOPE) as a 2013 Neighborhood Builders award recipient. The Neighborhood Builders initiative is a strategic investment that couples leadership training with a $200,000 unrestricted grant for high-performing non-profits that have made a significant impact addressing community development, critical needs or workforce development and education.
Headquartered on Smith Street in Downtown Brooklyn, HOPE helps New Yorkers prepare to find, keep and grow their careers. The organization blends vocational, educational and social services with a lifetime commitment to success. HOPE provides training in literacy, math, computer skills, workplace communications, stress management, customer service and other essential skills for job development.
HOPE will be dedicating funds from the grant to the evaluation and potential growth of a pilot program, Retail and Beyond, which will extend the reach of their job preparedness courses into the retail industry. The program will leverage the success of Hope’s first sector-specific program in the food industry, Grocery Works, and industry trends of stability and growth in the retail sector. The grant will also allow HOPE to expand its team of employment specialists who assist program members in finding and retaining employment.
“HOPE has some of the highest job placement and retention rates in the industry,” said Jeff Barker, New York City president of Bank of America. “This award will allow them to have an even greater impact, which will benefit communities throughout the city.”
“As Bank of America is a known leader in corporate philanthropy and strategic investments, we are honored to be a partner and a Neighborhood Builder. At HOPE, we pride ourselves on our legacy of data to drive personal transformations. Bank of America’s significant resources and training opportunities will build on this history and move HOPE forward as an organization, enabling us to have an even deeper and longer-lasting impact on New Yorkers living in poverty,” said HOPE’s Executive Director, Jennifer Mitchell.
In addition to the Neighborhood Builders award, Bank of America employees are supporting HOPE by participating in the Interview Project, which provides real-world interview experience in an office environment as well as individual feedback and resume tips. Volunteers will offer their time and expertise by participating in mock one-on-one interviews with HOPE jobseekers at Bank of America’s Manhattan offices.