BankWork$ Partners with Employ Milwaukee and the Wisconsin Bankers Association to Bring Eight-Week Financial Services Industry Career Training Program to Milwaukee

October 25, 2018

For more information, contact:
Jill Lintonen (414) 270-1712

BankWork$® Partners with Employ Milwaukee and the Wisconsin Bankers Association to Bring Eight-Week Financial Services Industry Career Training Program to Milwaukee

The free training program offers an opportunity to launch a career in banking for underserved individuals

MILWAUKEE — BankWork$® announced today it is partnering with Employ Milwaukee and the Wisconsin Bankers Association (WBA) to expand its eight-week free training program to southeastern Wisconsin. BankWork$® is a public-private partnership that primarily trains participants from underserved neighborhoods for careers in retail banking. The Milwaukee partnership will place adults with barriers to employment, in jobs in the financial services industry. The program is currently operating in Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Houston, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Portland, San Francisco, Seattle, and Tacoma, Washington.

BankWork$® has placed more than 2,000 graduates into careers in the financial services industry. We are excited to see the impact the program will have on Milwaukee,” said Colleen Anderson, Executive Director at BankWork$®.

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

BankWork$® partners with leading nonprofit vocational training organizations in each market to deliver the program locally. The eight-week course equips graduates with hard and soft skills, common among financial industry employers, to become qualified for in-demand jobs at local bank branches. The program has a 70 percent placement rate and 82 percent of graduates placed in jobs in the financial services industry remain employed six months after graduation.

“This is an impressive and successful program,” said Sandra Meka, Vice President-Talent Acquisition Manager, Associated Bank. “BankWork$® is helping us develop and maintain a skilled workforce at a rapid pace. Our need for workers is great. This program provides an excellent pool of diverse, qualified candidates to help us grow our business.”

Employ Milwaukee’s goal is to train 400 individuals over three years for banking industry jobs, including Entrylevel Bank Teller, Universal Teller, Customer Service Representative, Relationship Banker and Personal Banker. The first location to hold training classes will be at Journey House on Milwaukee’s southside.

“This is a tremendous opportunity for our job seekers,” said Willie C. Wade, President and CEO, 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.”

About BankWork$
BankWork$® was started in 2006 in Los Angeles by The Sheri and Les Biller Family Foundation in partnership with regional workforce development leader Jobs.Vision.Success Southern California (JVS SoCal). As part of the five-year, $4 million national expansion in partnership with Bank of America, U.S. Bank, Wells Fargo, and the Sheri and Les Biller Family Foundation, the program will be in up to 15 markets by end of 2019. For more information, visit

About Employ Milwaukee
Employ Milwaukee administers an industry-driven sector-based workforce model. This highly effective model promotes long-term economic prosperity and sustainable employment. Through direct employer engagement in high demand industry sectors, Industry Advisory Board participants identify skill requirements and employment opportunities within key sectors. Customized hiring events are just one of the services Employ Milwaukee provides to employers and job seekers in the greater Milwaukee area. For more information, visit

About Wisconsin Bankers Association
The Wisconsin Bankers Association is the state’s largest financial industry trade association, representing nearly 240 commercial banks and savings institutions, their nearly 2,300 branch offices and 23,000 employees.