Bank of America Gives Florida International University, Miami Dade College
and University of Puerto Rico $1 Million Each for Jobs Initiative
$25 Million National Program Supports Programming, Re-skilling, and Upskilling for Students of Color; Includes Partnerships with Major Employers and The Aspen Institute
MIAMI —Bank of America today announced a new $1 million jobs initiative partnership with Florida International University (FIU), Miami Dade College (MDC) and University of Puerto Rico to help students of color successfully complete the education and training necessary to enter the workforce and embark on a path to success in Miami. 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.
“We understand the important role skills development and training plays in advancing racial equity so students of color can thrive in our community,” said Gene Schaefer, Miami market president for Bank of America. “Bank of America is proud to partner with FIU, MDC and University of Puerto Rico to ensure their students have access to high-quality training that will empower them to pursue opportunities and have a positive impact on economic justice and mobility.”
This year, the bank provided $2,330,000 in grants to nonprofits that are connecting individuals to skills and employment in Miami. 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.
Including FIU, MDC and University of Puerto Rico, the $25 million, nationwide initiative includes partnerships with nearly two dozen community colleges that serve predominately Black/African American and Hispanic-Latino students, public historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs) and public Hispanic-serving institutions (HSIs). Bank of America is also partnering with and providing funding to the Aspen Institute to convene the participating higher education institutions for technical and programmatic assistance and to share best practices.
Today, less than 40 percent of community college students earn a certificate or degree within six years of enrollment. 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.
“Over the past two years we have created a framework to give our learners the skills they need to enter or get promoted in specific industries. Our framework includes the design and delivery of micro-credentials,” said Elizabeth Bejar, senior vice president for academic and student affairs at FIU. “This grant from Bank of America will allow us to expand our programs and make a transformative impact at a critical time when so many in our community are unemployed or underemployed.”
“Re-skilling, upskilling, retooling and completing a college certificate or degree have never been more important,” said Dr. Rolando Montoya, interim president of Miami Dade College. “This endeavor will go a long way in helping those who need it most.”
With the support from Bank of America, FIU and MDC will develop or enhance existing programs to meet specific skills gaps to create higher paying, family-sustaining jobs that are in demand. Bank of America will work alongside the Miami-Dade Beacon Council, the official economic development partnership for Miami-Dade County, to ensure these programs target specific hiring needs and create a clearly defined career pathway to future employment.
“The investment of partners like Bank of America is essential to driving equitable economic inclusion in any community,” said Michael A. Finney, President and CEO, Miami-Dade Beacon Council. “Working closely with our academic institutions and the private sector to ensure workforce and talent development efforts are forward-thinking and inclusive, it is collaboration and commitments like these that allow us to drive long-term, positive change for Miami-Dade as a whole – starting with underserved Black and Brown talent.”
Focused on advancing economic mobility, Bank of America also recently announced:
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Florida International University is Miami’s public research university, focused on student success. According to U.S. News and World Report, FIU has 26 top-50 rankings in the nation among public universities and Washington Monthly Magazine ranks FIU among the top 20 public universities contributing to the public good and No. 12 for social mobility. FIU is a top U.S. research university (R1), with more than $200 million in annual expenditures. FIU ranks 15th in the nation among public universities for patent production, which drives innovation, and is one of the institutions that helps make Florida the top state for higher education. The Next Horizon fundraising campaign is furthering FIU’s commitment to providing students Worlds Ahead opportunities. Today, FIU has two campuses and multiple centers, and supports artistic and cultural engagement through its three museums: Patricia & Phillip Frost Art Museum, the Wolfsonian-FIU, and the Jewish Museum of Florida-FIU. FIU is a member of Conference USA, with more than 400 student-athletes participating in 18 sports. The university has awarded more than 330,000 degrees to many leaders in South Florida and beyond. For more information about FIU, visit www.fiu.edu.
About Miami Dade College
Miami Dade College is the most diverse institution in the nation. There are 167 nations and 63 languages represented in its student body. The college’s eight campuses and outreach centers offer more than 300 distinct degree pathways including associate and baccalaureate degrees, career certificates and apprenticeships. Baccalaureate degree offerings include biological sciences, engineering, data analytics, information systems technology, education, public safety, supervision and management, nursing, physician assistant studies, film and others. MDC is the recipient of many top national awards including the Aspen Prize. As Democracy’s College, MDC changes lives through accessible, high quality-teaching and learning experiences. It is the home of the Miami Culinary Institute, the Miami Animation & Gaming International Complex, the Miami Fashion Institute, the Eig-Watson School of Aviation, The Idea Center, the Cybersecurity Center of the Americas, the Cloud Computing Center, the Center for Learning, Innovation and Simulation, the School for Advanced Studies, and the New World School of the Arts, to name a few of its most innovative programs. MDC has been named among the nation’s “Great Colleges to Work For” since the program’s inception. The College embraces its responsibility to serve as an economic, cultural, and civic leader for the advancement of our diverse global community. Its alumni and employees contribute more than $3 billion annually to the local economy, and MDC graduates occupy top leadership positions in every major industry. MDC is renowned for its rich cultural programming. It is the home of the Miami Book Fair, Miami Film Festival, the National Historic Landmark Miami Freedom Tower, the Tower Theater, Dyer Building, Koubek Center Mansion and Gardens, Live Arts Miami at MDC, the Lynn and Louis Wolfson II Florida Moving Image Archives, the Museum of Art and Design, a sculpture park and a large campus art gallery and theater system. MDC has admitted more than 2,000,000 students and counting, since it opened its doors in 1960. More than 120,000 students are currently enrolled. For more information, visit www.mdc.edu.
Reporters May Contact:
Matthew Daily, Bank of America, 1.404.607.2844