Award-Winning Program Graduates Classes 55 & 56 in Boyle Heights & Compton

JVSLA BankWork$™ Supports Los Angeles Economy through Job Training Program & Job Fair With Partner Banks

Sept. 9, 2015 -- JVS BankWork$™, the award-winning program that prepares individuals for first-step careers in the financial industry, graduated classes 55 and 56 from training sessions based in Boyle Heights and the first training session hosted in the City of Compton.

At a recent graduation ceremony held at the L.A. EXPO Center on August 19th, Jay Soloway, JVSLA Director of Training and Education, thanked the Puente Learning Center in Boyle Heights and the City of Compton’s CareerLink for hosting the BankWork$ program at their locations. Neil Holmes, senior economic development specialist from Compton’s Office of the City Manager/Community Development joined the ceremony to witness the accomplishments of the first BankWork$ graduates from Compton.
Two keynote speakers from longtime-banking partner U.S. Bank joined in the ceremony: Bonnie Tseng, Community Development Manager for U.S. Bank in Los Angeles, and Christina Ketsoyan, Vice President and District Manager for U.S. Bank in the San Fernando Valley. Tseng and Ketsoyan presented BankWork$ with a $25,000 check and addressed the new graduates who were eager to meet recruiters from JVSLA BankWork$ partners, such as U.S. Bank, Bank of America, Banc of California, Wells Fargo, Union Bank, Chase, Pacific Western Bank, Comerica and City National Bank.
“As a community development manager my job is to find wonderful programs like the BankWork$ program and help support what they do in the community,” said Tseng. “There is no end to your potential…there’s a whole audience waiting to hire you,” she stated while referring to the rows of recruiters ready to meet and interview the 33 new graduates following the ceremony.
Under the leadership of Associate Director Lisa Meadows, BankWork$ prepares job seekers for entry-level positions as a first step on the career ladder in the financial services industry.  Since the launch of the BankWork$ program in 2006, the program has graduated nearly 1,000 students with more than 700 placed in banking positions throughout Southern California.
“The BankWork$ program helps transform people’s lives—many are young adults working in fast-food restaurants with families to support, but we also have older students who lost a job and used the opportunity to make a career change,” said Meadows. “Over the course of eight weeks, my instructors and I see the confidence in each student grow as they begin to realize their learning and career potential. It’s truly a transformation.” The intensive eight-week program offers job training, job placement assistance and ongoing coaching for career advancement. Immediately following the graduation, the trainees move into a job fair with recruiters from the partnering banks, many of who have open positions to fill. BankWork$ graduates are often hired on the day of their graduation or shortly thereafter.

Many of the trainees have overcome multiple barriers to employment including living in extreme poverty as well as limited education and work experience. Several past graduates have come from the foster care system or are single parents struggling to earn an independent living. Others are newly arrived immigrants and have overcome significant language and cultural barriers. 
“Before I became a teller at U.S. Bank, I was working 5 a.m. shifts at a fast-food restaurant,” said Angelica Bonilla, BankWork$ guest speaker, program graduate and U.S. Bank teller. “JVS’ BankWork$ program taught me so many things that I use in the workplace and in everyday situations, such as using open-ended questions to talk to customers, empathy to handle someone who may be upset, and overall team collaboration.” For more information on how to register, please call 310-273-6633 ext.  0.

About JVSLA BankWork$
BankWork$ partners include Bank of America, Banc of California, Chase, City National Bank, Comerica, the City of Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks/EXPO Center, Continental Currency Services, the Marcled Foundation, the Michael and Irene Ross Endowment Fund, Pacific Western Bank, the Sheri and Les Biller Family Foundation, the State of California Employment Training Panel, the State of California Employment Development Department, Union Bank, U.S. Bank and Wells Fargo.

In 2013, JVS BankWork$ won the Project Collaboration Award at the Los Angeles Business Journal (LABJ) Nonprofit and Corporate Citizenship Awards. The Project Collaboration Award recognizes, “a project that encompasses involvement of multiple stakeholders in the community, engagement of the community being served, and innovation in approaching a community problem or issue.”

September 11, 2015

  • Lisa Meadows, BankWork$ Associate Director

    Multiple locations
    Los Angeles, CA 90048
    Phone: (310) 273-6633, ext. 5420