By: Felipe Rivas
2 min read November 2020 — Bank of America and Atlanta Technical College have partnered on a $1-million jobs initiative aimed at helping students successfully complete the education and training necessary to enter Atlanta’s workforce, the organizations announced last week.
“We are appreciative of this transformational gift from Bank of America. With a $200-million economic impact, Atlanta Technical College continues to demonstrate that we are worth the investment of public and private dollars,” said Atlanta Technical College President Victoria Seals in a statement. “The investment from Bank of America will accelerate our impact in training and preparing the underserved, unemployed and underemployed citizens of Fulton and Clayton counties to advance economic mobility.”
The partnership with Atlanta Technical College is part of Bank of America’s nationwide $25-million initiative with nearly two dozen educational institutions and community colleges that serve predominantly Black and Latino students. “For 53 years, Atlanta Technical College has built a successful program for technical training and job placement,” said Bank of America Atlanta Market President Wendy Stewart. “Our partnership will further expand on their initiatives to ensure underserved students have a guided career pathway into high-wage, in-demand jobs.”
The COVID-19 pandemic accelerated the need for workers in the information technology, logistics and healthcare sectors, areas that are experiencing much student demand, Seals told Focus: Atlanta. “Because we are in metro Atlanta, the IT fields are really exploding and everything around cybersecurity is growing. Cloud computing is another emerging area of interest and demand. Those are the most in-demand areas,” she said. “Logistics is continuing to grow with the deepening of the Port of Savannah, which started five years ago. We are now starting to see more opportunities around supply chain, logistics and truck driving. The workforce opportunities have resulted in an increased demand in training for those areas as well. Healthcare also continues to be one of the areas of need for all of metro Atlanta as people are retiring a little earlier but also because of the challenge we are experiencing right now with the pandemic. Construction is also still going on. So all of the skilled trades are maintaining a high demand in terms of our workforce needs.”
Over the past five years, Bank of America has provided $4.1 million in grants to nonprofits that are connecting individuals to skills and employment in Atlanta, the college reported. The $25-million initiative with the nationwide educational institutions is part of the bank’s recent $1 billion, four-year commitment to advance racial equality and economic opportunity.
Less than 40% of community college students earn a certificate or degree within six years of enrollment. For minority students , graduation and completion rates are particularly low – 28.8% for Black students and 37.1% for Hispanic students, the college reported.
Bank of America’s support allows Atlanta Technical College to enhance existing programs within the Center for Workforce Innovation, which serves to meet the specific skills gaps needed to create higher-paying, family-sustaining jobs that are in demand. “The main message that I continue to work to get across is that Atlanta Technical College is the premier workforce development partner for the metro region. We have an over $200-million economic impact on the region,” Seals said. “There is a quality to what we do that’s unmatched in terms of the training that individuals receive. We are doing our part to help uplift individuals and families and get them connected to well-paying careers, providing economic mobility and making a difference in ending generational poverty.
To learn more, visit: https://atlantatech.edu/