FIU awarded $1M jobs initiative grant from Bank of America

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Bank of America has partnered with FIU and other universities throughout the United States to help minority students successfully complete the education and training necessary to enter the workforce and embark on a path to success.

FIU received a $1 million grant, part of a $25 million, nationwide initiative that includes partnerships with nearly two dozen community colleges – including Miami Dade College (MDC) – 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 also is 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.

“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.”

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.

“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.”

With the support from Bank of America, FIU will develop or enhance existing programs to help candidates prepare for higher-paying, family-sustaining jobs that are in demand. Bank of America will work alongside the Miami-Dade Beacon Council, the official economic development agency 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.”


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