$25 Million National Program Supports Programming, Re-skilling, and Upskilling for Students of Color; Includes Partnerships with Major Employers and The Aspen Institute
Baltimore, MD — Morgan State University and Bank of America today announced a new $1 million jobs initiative partnership to help students of color successfully complete the education and training necessary to enter the workforce and embark on a path to success in Maryland. This initiative builds on Bank of America’s ongoing work to address the underlying issues facing individuals and communities of color who have been disproportionately impacted by the current health crisis.
“The work of historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs) like Morgan State University are at the core of creating opportunities for communities of color,” said Sabina Kelly, Greater Maryland market president for Bank of America. “Through Bank of America’s partnership with Morgan State University, we can help address the widespread inequities in our communities by providing students with the resources they need for future employment and advancing economic mobility.”
This year, the bank provided $1.3 million in grants to nonprofits led by or serving people of color that are connecting individuals to skills and employment in Maryland. The initiative is part of the bank’s recent $1 billion, four-year commitment to advance racial equality and economic opportunity, and its $25 million commitment to enhance up-skilling and reskilling for Black/African American and Hispanic-Latino individuals.
Today, less than 40 percent of community college students earn a certificate or degree within six years of enrollment. According to the most recent data provided by the Maryland Higher Education Commission (MHEC), the average enrollment for all of Maryland’s four-year public institutions is 13,961 students and the average statewide six-year graduation rate for public four-year institutions is 71.1%. Morgan State University’s current enrollment stands at nearly 8,000 students with a six-year graduation rate of 46.3% en route to 50% by or before the year 2025. In addition, Morgan has maintained an impressive student retention rate of 70% or more for 10 consecutive years.
Nationally, for students of color, graduation and completion rates are particularly low – 28.8 percent for Black students and 37.1 percent for Hispanic students. Although HBCUs and HSIs are a mix of public and private institutions, the ongoing challenges brought on by coronavirus, have exacerbated their financial struggle as they seek to serve students from the most vulnerable communities.
“We are enthusiastic about this opportunity to collaborate with one of the world’s leading financial institutions and are appreciative of Bank of America’s commitment to aid Morgan in its mission to produce proficient, career-tracked professionals who endeavor to impact their chosen fields beyond college,” said David Wilson, president of Morgan State University. “Institutions such as Morgan, have long served as valuable pipelines to an overabundance of brilliant and highly-capable African-American talent; often untapped and underrepresented. The resources provided by Bank of America will assist in broadening that pipeline to more employers—particularly those within the financial sector.”
With the support from Bank of America, Morgan State University will enhance existing programs to meet specific opportunities to create higher paying, family-sustaining jobs that are in demand. Bank of America will work alongside employers in Maryland to ensure these programs target specific hiring needs and create a clearly defined career pathway to future employment.
Focused on advancing economic mobility, Bank of America also recently announced:
- Seven Completed Equity Investments in Minority Depository Institutions and Community Development Financial Institution Banks
- $2 Billion Equality Progress Sustainability Bond
- Universal ESG Reporting; International Business Council of World Economic Forum
- Recognition as Top Global Bank on Fortune’s “Change the World” List
- $300 Million of Its $1 Billion, Four-Year Commitment to Advance Racial Equality and Economic Opportunity
- Support of Boys & Girls Clubs of America With $1 Million Grant to Support Educational Programs
- $1 Billion/4-Year Commitment to Support Economic Opportunity Initiatives
- $250 Million in Capital and $10 Million in Philanthropic Grants to Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs)
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 at about.bankofamerica.com, and connect with us on Twitter (@BofA_News).
Morgan State University
Morgan State University, founded in 1867, is a Carnegie-classified doctoral research institution offering more than 126 academic programs leading to degrees from the baccalaureate to the doctorate. As Maryland’s Preeminent Public Urban Research University, Morgan serves a multiethnic and multiracial student body and seeks to ensure that the doors of higher education are opened as wide as possible to as many as possible. For more information about Morgan State University, visit www.morgan.edu.
Andy Aldridge, for Bank of America