Banking career training program will launch in Milwaukee

Employ Milwaukee, Wisconsin Bankers Association partnering on local launch of BankWork$ program

BankWork$, a public-private partnership that trains young adults from underserved neighborhoods for banking careers, announced today it is launching its program in Milwaukee.

BankWork$ is partnering with Employ Milwaukee and the Wisconsin Bankers Association to offer its eight-week training program, with the  goal of training 400 individuals over three years for banking industry jobs.

Journey House, a community center on Milwaukee’s south side, will host the eight-week classes, which are free to participants. The classes prepare participants with the hard and soft skills they need for jobs as tellers, customer service representatives and personal bankers.

“This is a tremendous opportunity for our job seekers,” said Willie Wade, president and chief executive officer of Employ Milwaukee. “We are looking forward to introducing candidates to well-paying jobs, and ultimately lasting careers. I applaud the vision of BankWork$ and look forward to implementing the program in our community.”

BankWork$ currently operates programs in a dozen major cities throughout the country. It partners with nonprofit vocational training organizations in each market to deliver the program locally.

BankWork$ said it has a 70 percent placement rate, with 82 percent of graduates placed in jobs in the financial services industry remaining employed six months after graduation.

“The WBA is excited to support another way of helping our communities while providing banks with trained and job-ready front-line employees,” said Rose Oswald Poels, president and CEO of the Wisconsin Bankers Association. “This is also a great way of promoting banking as a career in our state.”

Sandra Meka, vice president and talent acquisition manager of Associated Bank, said there is a great need for skilled workers in the banking industry.

“This program provides an excellent pool of diverse, qualified candidates to help us grow our business,” Meka said.

BankWork$ has a five-year plan to be in as many as 15 markets by the end of 2019.

“We are excited to see the impact the program will have on Milwaukee,” said Colleen Anderson, executive director of BankWork$.

Get our email updates

Lauren Anderson
Lauren Anderson covers health care, nonprofits, education and insurance for BizTimes. Lauren previously reported on education for the Waukesha Freeman. She graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where she studied journalism, history and African studies. In her free time, Lauren enjoys spending time with family and friends and seeing live music wherever she can.