HOPE selected as 2013 Bank of America Neighborhood Builder

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The Bank of America Charitable Foundation has named The HOPE Program (HOPE) a 2013 Neighborhood Builders® award recipient. The Neighborhood Builders initiative is a strategic investment that couples leadership training with a $200,000 unrestricted grant for high-performing nonprofits that have made a significant impact addressing community development, critical needs or workforce development and education. Through the award, nonprofit leaders gain valuable skills and the freedom to apply funding where it is needed most.

Headquartered in Brooklyn, HOPE helps New Yorkers prepare to find, keep and grow their careers. The organization blends vocational, educational and social services with a lifetime commitment to success. HOPE provides training in literacy, math, computer skills, workplace communications, stress management, customer service and other essential skills for job development.

HOPE will be dedicating funds from the grant to the evaluation and potential growth of a pilot program, Retail and Beyond, which will extend the reach of their job preparedness courses into the booming retail industry. The program will leverage the success of their first sector-specific program in the food industry, GROCERYworks, and industry trends of stability and growth in the retail sector. The grant will also allow HOPE to grow its team of employment specialists who assist program members in finding and retaining employment.

“HOPE has some of the highest job placement and retention rates in the industry,” said Jeff Barker, New York City president, Bank of America. “This award will allow them to have an even greater impact, which will benefit communities throughout the city.”

“As Bank of America is a known leader in corporate philanthropy and strategic investments, we are honored to be a partner and a Neighborhood Builder. At HOPE, we pride ourselves on our legacy of data to drive personal transformations. Bank of America’s significant resources and training opportunities will build on this history and move HOPE forward as an organization, enabling us to have an even deeper and longer-lasting impact on New Yorkers living in poverty,” said HOPE’s Executive Director, Jennifer Mitchell.

According to the Bridgespan Group, Neighborhood Builders is the largest investment in nonprofit leadership development, 2.5 times the next largest program in spending and the third largest in number of leaders served. Through the program, now in its tenth year, Bank of America has invested $160 million in 800 nonprofit organizations and provided training to 1,600 nonprofit leaders. Neighborhood Builders furthers the company’s broader philanthropic commitment to addressing core issues that are critical to the economic vitality of local economies, with a particular focus on low- and moderate-income communities.