Workforce Development Council of Seattle-King County and Bank of America Announce $150,000 Year-Long Youth Workforce Development Partnership

Workforce Development Council of Seattle-King County and Bank of America Announce $150,000 Year-Long Youth Workforce Development Partnership

September 4, 2019

SEATTLE, WA – The Workforce Development Council of Seattle-King County (WDC) and Bank of America announce a $150,000 year-long partnership tosupport the WDC’s Youth at Work Summer Employment Program.

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 Youth at Work Summer Employment Program that will run through June 2020, through paid internships for 25 economically disadvantaged youth at a variety of worksites, with an emphasis on high-growth industry sectors.

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, supports the development of their workplace skills, and assists employers in evolving a future workforce.

“We’ve long supported WDC because of their ability to provide our local youth with the tools, resources and encouragement needed to lead them on a path toward financial stability,” said Kerri Schroeder, Seattle Market President for Bank of America. “The individuals WDC serves want the same thing we all want: the ability to have a good job and make enough money to support ourselves and our families. By supporting and strengthening these opportunities for our local youth, we help close the poverty gap and build a more economically thriving community.”

This year alone, Bank of America has given $735,000 in economic mobility grants to non-profit organizations working to change lives across the Puget Sound region. In addition, Bank of America’s signature Student Leaders© program offers young people an opportunity to build their workforce and leadership skills through a paid summer internship at a local nonprofit and the ability to help improve their communities. Bank of America has helped chart a path for more than 75 local Student Leaders since the program started in 2015. The Bank also partners with the Boys and Girls Club to provide summer internships to 10 BGC students who are learning banker skills in community financial centers located in low- and moderate-income communities. These locations offer access to tailored financial education, expert professionals, job opportunities, affordable homeownership solutions, and potential capital for small businesses. 

The programs and initiatives mentioned above only skim the surface of the workforce development efforts facilitated by Bank of America locally. 

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, nearly 19.6 percent of our state's young adults were unemployed in 2015. The WDC’s target population, particularly out-of-school youth, face a complex range of challenges – 41 percent of disconnected youth in south King County have a history of mental illness, are involved with the juvenile justice or foster care systems, or need specialized academic or social support. Many also have urgent needs related to basic stabilization, physical and mental health, and other challenging life circumstances.

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.

Marie Kurose, CEO of the Workforce Development Council of Seattle-King County, stated, “Thanks to this grant, we can connect more youth to opportunities that set them up for lifelong success. This is one part—an important and vital part—of ensuring that our region is doing all it can to create equitable outcomes for our youth.”

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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

At Bank of America, we’re guided by a common purpose to help make financial lives better, through the power of every connection. We’re delivering on this through responsible growth with a focus on our environmental, social and governance (ESG) leadership. ESG is embedded across our eight lines of business and reflects how we help fuel the global economy, build trust and credibility, and represent a company that people want to work for, invest in and do business with. It’s demonstrated in the inclusive and supportive workplace we create for our employees, the responsible products and services we offer our clients, and the impact we make around the world in helping local economies thrive. An important part of this work is forming strong partnerships with nonprofits and advocacy groups, such as community, consumer and environmental organizations, to bring together our collective networks and expertise to achieve greater impact. Learn more atabout.bankofamerica.com, and connect with us on Twitter (@BofA_News).