Associate Director of Marketing and Communications
Mission Economic Development Agency (MEDA)
(415) 282-3334 ext. 152
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 7, 2019
MEDA and Bank of America Partner on Pathways Program to Increase Hiring in Low- and Moderate-Income San Francisco Bay Area Communities
Partnership with BofA and UnidosUS affiliates creates bilingual talent pipeline for financial careers
San Francisco — Working people in the Mission District and other Bay Area low- and moderate-income (LMI) neighborhoods will soon have greater access to specialized job skills and well-paying, sustainable careers in the financial services industry thanks to a new partnership between Mission Economic Development Agency (MEDA) and Bank of America. MEDA provides free, bilingual workforce development programs to help San Francisco’s underserved job seekers gain training for jobs in finance and other fields. Bank of America is partnering with MEDA to expand its national Pathways program into the San Francisco Bay Area, which will help scale MEDA’s job placement impact locally.
According to MEDA surveys, the Mission District and others like it severely lack higher-pay employment opportunities and showcase an overrepresentation of minimum-wage jobs. Banking careers represent a high-demand, sustainable path for bilingual Latinos to leverage skills and pursue careers. A 2016 study by New American Economy, a research nonprofit, demand for bilingual professionals in jobs requiring public interaction doubled from 2010 to 2015.
MEDA will focus on the recruitment, training and job placement of its participants from lower-income neighborhoods, hosting five cohorts in a seven-week program with a total of 60 enrollees to be considered for roles at Bank of America locally – roles that offer lasting career growth opportunities. On May 1, 2019, the bank raised its minimum hourly wage to $17, and will continue to rise until it reaches $20 in 2021.
Explains MEDA Director of Asset Building Programs Lucy Arellano Baglieri,”As a longtime UnidosUS affiliate, MEDA is excited to partner with Bank of America to create better-paying jobs in the community. A good career is a big step toward creating generational family wealth, which is a goal of MEDA for our clients.”
With its Pathways program announced in 2018, Bank of America committed to hiring 10,000 people from LMI communities over the next five years by partnering with nonprofits like MEDA, a UnidosUS affiliate, to fuel the talent pipeline for its Consumer and Small Business division. In April the bank announced that it had so far hired 4,700 people from LMI communities. Nearly 30 percent of the bank’s consumer business employees, and more than one-third of its financial centers, are located in LMI neighborhoods.
“We want our employees to reflect the communities we serve. Our longstanding partnership with workforce development partners like UnidosUS, affiliates and others have a proven track record of success and helps connect people with sustainable career paths in the financial services,” said Gioia McCarthy, San Francisco – East Bay market president and Consumer Banking executive, Bank of America.
MEDA announced its selection as a Bank of America Pathways Program partner for the San Francisco Bay Area during its graduation for participants in its most recent seven-week workforce development cohort. Bank of America has hired several MEDA graduates over the years, one of whom was in attendance at the graduation.
About Mission Economic Development Agency (MEDA)
Rooted in the Mission and focused on San Francisco, MEDA’s mission is to strengthen low- and moderate-income Latino families by promoting economic equity and social justice through asset building and community development. medasf.org
UnidosUS is the country’s leading Hispanic organization which for nearly 50 years has championed the Latino community and broken barriers in pursuit of their American Dream. With its unique combination of expert and experienced advocacy, programs and a national network of community-based Affiliate partners, UnidosUS is the only organization that simultaneously challenges the social, economic and political barriers that face the Latino community. unidosus.org