The Arizona Bankers Association (ABA) is excited to announce it has partnered with BankWork$ and Arizona Women’s Education and Employment (AWEE) to offer a free training program that places low-income young adults and those with barriers to employment in jobs in the financial services industry.  BankWork$ already offers the program in several cities across the country – Los Angeles, Seattle, San Francisco, Chicago, Houston, Portland, Oregon, Denver, and it began in Phoenix in 2016.

“Recruiting and Hiring is one of the biggest challenges that Arizona banks face today,” said ABA Director Member Services Marketing & Communications, Therese Kleinlein.  “This training/placement program trains students for a career in the financial services industry.  It teaches them both the basic knowledge and the soft skills like customer service, sales, interviewing techniques, and professionalism.  We immediately saw that this is a primary goal of our association, connecting quality individuals with financial institutions, and reached out to AWEE about a partnership.”

BankWork$ partners with Arizona Women’s Education and Employment  (AWEE) a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization whose mission is to “Change lives through the dignity of work,”  we saw this as the perfect partnership to build a stronger bond in the community by providing the BankWork$ training in Arizona.  AWEE assists both women and men in pursuing their goals of working in the Financial Industry. Currently, eleven financial institutions have sponsored the program, which provides them the opportunity to attend a special “Hiring Event” the day of graduation.  Arizona was offering one class per quarter but has now expanded to offer two classes throughout the Metropolitan Phoenix area.

Since its inception in 2016, 82 percent of the AWEE BankWork$ graduates have been hired by financial institutions and there is a 94 percent retention rate after 6 months of employment.  The success of the program is attributed to the skills taught and the continued mentoring and coaching that AWEE provides its graduates even after they are hired.  AWEE BankWork$ supports their graduates for at least one year after they have completed the program so they will continue to grow in their new career.