The largest class of BankWork$™ graduates will receive their certificates and be ready to begin careers in the financial industry on Thursday, March 16 in a ceremony at the Heard Museum, 2301 N. Central Avenue in Phoenix. A job fair for graduates will immediately follow graduation.
Twenty-four women and men from Ahwatukee, Avondale, Fountain Hills, Glendale, Litchfield Park, Mesa, Peoria, Phoenix, Surprise and Tempe will graduate from the intensive 8-week, 168-hour program. Graduation begins at 10:30 a.m.
Arizona Women’s Education and Employment (AWEE) launched the program in 2015 in partnership with BankWork$™ and local financial institution partners to deepen its long-time work with adults from low-income and minority communities and those with barriers to employment.
Following the ceremony, graduates will participate in a job fair to fill positions at financial institutions including Wells Fargo, Bank of America, MidFirst Bank, Western Alliance Bank, Comerica Bank and AmTrust Bank. In Arizona so far, 39 of 55 graduates have been hired.
Members of the fifth BankWork$™ graduating class are Christina Bowen, Glendale; Claudia J. Cervantes, Tempe; Ciera Banyard-Davenport, Ahwatukee; Julie Franke, Phoenix; Asmaa H. Al-Sulaihim, Fountain Hills; Justyna Jonak, Litchfield Park; Mrunal Koranne, Phoenix; Tame Le, Litchfield Park; Lisbeth Lopez, Avondale; Karyssa Moore, Surprise; Blanca E. Morales V, Phoenix; Noe Murillo, Phoenix; Noemi Najera, Phoenix; Nguyen Nguyen, Phoenix; Deborah Opie, Mesa; Akaila Powell, Phoenix; Esmeralda Queriapa, Phoenix; Jennifer Rizo, Avondale; Viviana Rizo, Avondale; Cyndi Sandoval, Phoenix; Zhenia Santa Ana, Peoria; Jenny Seekell, Phoenix; Deirdre Seeman, Surprise; and Rosalie Wells, Mesa.
“BankWork$™ puts women and men on a career path toward improving their lives and the lives of their families,” said AWEE President and CEO Marie Sullivan.
Applications for the sixth BankWork$™ class are now being accepted. Start date is April 12 for Central Phoenix and East Valley. For information and to apply, call (602) 223-4349 or visit awee.org/bankworks. BankWork$™ classes are free for participants.
The classes run for eight weeks and provide training in the skills needed for jobs as tellers, customer service representatives and personal bankers. The course culminates in a graduation and job fair with local financial institution partners, giving graduates the opportunity to interview for jobs immediately.
BankWork$™ also offers resume building, job interview practice, job placement assistance and ongoing coaching and mentoring to help with career advancement. Participants must be 18 years or older, have a high school diploma or GED, be fluent in written and spoken English, have basic computer skills and no adult felony convictions.
BankWork$™ launched in 2006 in Los Angeles and, by 2019 will be operating in 15 or more cities nationwide. Its $4-million national expansion is funded by Bank of America, U.S. Bank and Wells Fargo, which have each pledged $1 million over five years to support the rollout, and by The Sheri and Les Biller Family Foundation, which founded the program and has also pledged $1 million.
Since its launch, more than 800 BankWork$™ graduates have been hired by banks and other financial institutions.
BankWork$™ achieves a graduation rate of approximately 75% and is placing approximately 70% of graduates with partner banks each year. BankWork$™ graduates also stay employed in their jobs: retention rates for 2012 BankWork$™ graduates showed that 86% were employed six months after their hire date and 72% one year from their hire date.