The Bank of America Charitable Foundation has selected the Urban League of Portland as its latest Neighborhood Builders winner, handing out a $200,000 unrestricted grant as well as advanced leadership training, all of which is awarded to one Portland-area nonprofit each year in a competitive selection process.
The Builder program is specifically in support of high-performing nonprofits that have made a significant impact addressing needs related to community development, critical needs or workforce development and education. This is the 10th year of the Builder program in Portland.
“This contribution will allow us to create straightforward pathways to employment for all levels of job seekers – from working with clients to build fundamental employment skills to specialized trainings for emerging technologies,” said Michael Alexander, president & CEO of the Urban League of Portland.
“This Builder award will allow us to address the critically high level of unemployment in our community, to build strong partnerships with the business sector, and to improve the quality of life in our community by working to build a skilled, qualified and diverse workforce.”
“We have a long history of supporting the Urban League of Portland’s mission over the past decade, but it was really last year that our partnership ramped up.
“Bank of America provided a $25,000 grant to help revive their workforce program and after seeing the results of that investment, combined with the leadership Michael Alexander has brought to the League, we were really inspired to consider other ways we could help this valuable organization,” said Monique Barton, senior vice president of corporate social responsibility at Bank of America in Oregon and southwest Washington.
“It’s our hope that this latest $200,000 investment will not only deepen the Urban League’s impact today, but sustain their mission and services well into the future.”
Barton noted that last year’s grant from Bank of America helped the Urban League of Portland serve 129 new clients with job coaching, employment preparation training, job search and placement services and resume preparation for both youth and adults.
“We’re excited at what the future holds, in terms of the Urban League’s important efforts at breaking down barriers for achieving employment and financial independence,” said Barton.
With this new funding from Bank of America, the Urban League of Portland aims to partner with new corporations and organizations to develop additional employment opportunities for clients seeking jobs.
This grant will enable the Urban League of Portland to research and connect with corporations, small businesses, local skilled trade unions and other organizations to forge partnerships that will benefit the community by linking companies with eligible and diverse job candidates.
According to findings released by the Bridgespan Group, the Neighborhood Builders program is the largest investment in nonprofit leadership development that exists today, as well as one of the largest philanthropic programs in its spending, and it’s the third largest in number of leaders served.
Through the program — now in its 10th year — Bank of America has invested more than $160 million in 800 nonprofit organizations and provided training to 1,600 nonprofit leaders. Neighborhood Builders furthers Bank of America’s broader philanthropic commitment to addressing core issues that are critical to the economic vitality of local economies, with a particular focus on low-income communities.
For more information on the Urban League of Portland go to ulpdx.org.