WDC Announces $90,000 Award from Bank of America

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: August 4, 2015 

The Workforce Development Council of Seattle-King County (WDC) announces a $90,000 Award from Bank of America – The WDC is pleased to announce a $90,000 grant from Bank of America to support the WDC’s Youth at Work Summer Employment Program.

The mission of the WDC is to support a strong economy and the ability of each person to achieve self-sufficiency. Under the direction of the WDC, Youth at Work sponsors summer job opportunities for youth ages 14 to 24, and supports the development of their workplace skills, and assists employers in evolving a future workforce.

Bank of America and the Workforce Development Council of Seattle-King County share a commitment to connect low-income youth to meaningful employment opportunities. Funding will expand participation in the WDC's Youth at Work Summer Employment Program, through paid internships for 45 economically disadvantaged youth at a variety of worksites, with an emphasis on high-growth industry sectors. The award will also support youth employment efforts through King County Employment and Education Resources and the City of Seattle’s Mayor’s Youth Employment Initiative. Youth interns will also have access to other resources provided by the Youth at Work Program, including mentorship, career fairs, networking opportunities, exposure to post-secondary options, ongoing case management, work readiness skills, and ultimately make progress towards self-sufficiency.

“It’s undeniable that young people have exponentially brighter financial futures when they stay in school and gain valuable life experience through summer employment and internships,” said Anthony DiBlasi, Seattle and Washington state president for Bank of America.  “We’ve long partnered with WDC because of their expertise in proving youth with access to the support, encouragement and resources that put them on the path out of poverty and are contributors to creating a stronger economy across the Puget Sound.”

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, nearly 16.5 percent of our state's young adults were unemployed in 2014, more than double the rate of those ages 25-64. The Opportunity Index highlights the fact that nearly 25,000 young people, age 16-24, are not in school and are not working in King County.

Research shows that youth employment improves long-term financial well-being, while increasing cognitive and non-cognitive skills, such as grit, responsibility, determination, and self-confidence. When young people are employed, they are less likely to be involved in criminal activity and are better able to attain self-sufficiency in the future.

Marléna Sessions, CEO of the Workforce Development Council of Seattle-King County, stated, “As we look back on the lasting effects of the Great Recession, the invisible legacy is that young people in particular have been left behind. Supporting young people through employment can set them on a path to find careers that lead to self-sufficiency so they can contribute to our community and local economy.”

About the Workforce Development Council of Seattle-King County

The Workforce Development Council of Seattle-King County (www.seakingwdc.org, @SeattleKingWDC) is a nonprofit workforce think-tank and grant-making organization that oversees employment-related programs for youth, the adult workforce, and employers in King County, with the goal of a strong economy and self-sufficiency for every resident.

About Bank of America

To learn more about Bank of America’s corporate social responsibility efforts, visit about.bankofamerica.com/about and follow @BofA_Community.