Employer Spotlight: For Dollar Bank, BankWork$ “Matches the Mission” of Creating Opportunity in the Communities It Serves

When it was founded 1855, Dollar Bank’s founder Charles Colton had a “revolutionary” idea: to create a bank where anyone could open an account with one dollar in their pocket, regardless of race or gender. 

Today, over 165 years later, Dollar Bank remains rooted in that mission. 

“We pride ourselves on being a community bank,” says Michael O’Rorke, Dollar Bank’s Senior Vice President, Human Resources. “Part of being a community bank means thinking about all aspects of the community and how you can help create opportunity.” 

Headquartered in Pittsburgh, to help fulfill that mission, Dollar Bank began its partnership with the BankWork$ program run by our local training partners, Partner4Work, and Energy Innovation Center in 2019. Since then, Dollar Bank has welcomed nine BankWork$ graduates. 

“BankWork$ matches the mission of serving the communities where Dollar Bank operates”, says O’Rorke. “It allows us to round out our community vision of creating opportunity. It’s proven to be a really good match.” 

“Different people with different lenses look at challenges differently,” adds Paul David Spradley, Ed.D., Dollar Bank’s Assistant Vice President, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. “You are setting up your organization to have more diverse conversations.”  Dr. Paul was the keynote speaker at the previous BankWork$ graduation, where he inspired the graduates to continue setting new goals in their financial services careers. 

“The BankWork$ program continues to help connect talented job seekers with employers and exciting career opportunities in our community,” said Susie Puskar, Chief Program Officer for Partner4Work. “BankWork$ is one more way that we help open doors to our region’s job seekers, and businesses find the talent they need to grow and reflect the communities they serve. We’re excited to continue working with BankWork$ and employer partners to grow this successful program.” 

For Dollar Bank, BankWork$ has helped meet another key goal: hiring. 

“The BankWork$ program is a no-brainer because you are helping your community and attracting well-trained, diverse talent. Traditional talent pipelines are drying up, and BankWork$ offers a path to addressing the impending shortage of talent with a qualified pipeline,” says Dr. Spradley. 

One of Dollar Bank’s newest team members is Omar Almallak, a Spring 2021 BankWork$ graduate. Omar immigrated to the United States from Iraq in early 2020, and began working nights at a processing plant, just as the COVID-19 pandemic hit. Soon, a caseworker alerted him to the BankWork$ program, and he began the program provided by Energy Innovation Center. 

Omar managed an intense schedule, working nights at the processing plant and attending BankWork$ classes during the day, building on his accounting studies in Iraq. 

After completing the eight-week, free, comprehensive training program, he received two job offers – and ultimately accepted a role with Dollar Bank in their wire transfer department. 

Graduates like Omar succeed in their new career because they come to employers already “up the ramp,” says Michael. “They come to work with the skills they need, the self-confidence to be successful, and a desire to help others.” 

Dr. Spradley has a piece of advice for people interested in BankWork$ and Dollar Bank: “Visit our careers page. And find me on LinkedIn.” 

As Omar has begun his new career in financial services with Dollar Bank, he’s taken on another role, too: champion and unofficial recruiter for the BankWork$ program in his community. Already, he has helped recruit two people – a friend and a neighbor – into the BankWork$ program with Partner4Work. 

“I told them to do this program. It is a good way to build your career, and a good opportunity for people. They opened a door for me.” 

Want to learn more about BankWork$ and our work with our partners in the Pittsburgh region? Click here. 

CareerWork$ Announces BankWork$ Graduate Dynasty Grant as the First-Ever Recipient of the Marc Hill Rising Star Award

CareerWork$ today announced that Dynasty Grant, a March 2021 graduate of CareerWork$ BankWork$ program with our training partner Goodwill of Colorado, is the first-ever recipient of the CareerWork$ Marc Hill Rising Star Award. This spring, Dynasty began her new career in financial services as a Client Relationship Consultant with employer partner U.S. Bank. 

Launched in Spring 2021, the Marc Hill Rising Star Award recognizes graduates of our BankWork$ and CareerWork$ Medical program who has shown significant personal growth and transformation from the start of their class until their graduation. The award is part of CareerWork$ ongoing work to open doors to meaningful careers – and to honor the life, work and legacy of the late Marc Hill, an instructor of both the BankWork$ and CareerWork$ Ready programs with CareerWork$ partners, YWCA Seattle | King | Snohomish, who passed away in late 2020. Marc first began teaching our BankWork$ courses in 2011, and then began teaching CareerWork$ Ready in 2020 as part of our response to the COVID-19 crisis. Marc was also essential in helping expand the BankWork$ program into new markets nationwide. 

This year, each quarter CareerWork$ will recognize one student from graduating classes of our BankWork$ or CareerWork$Medical program. Each award recipient receives a certificate and cash award to enhance the start of their new career by helping with wardrobe, transportation, or other costs. 

Thanks to the efforts of U.S. Bank Denver Southwest District Manager Eric Mastroianni, CareerWork$ staff, Dynasty’s other colleagues at U.S. Bank, family, and Goodwill of Colorado staff had the opportunity to surprise Dynasty with the news that she had been selected as the first-ever award recipient.

“I’m forever grateful to BankWork$ and Goodwill of Colorado for supporting me, and for having faith in me even when I didn’t have it in myself,” said Dynasty. “Thank you for keeping me motivated and seeing the potential that I had inside of me.” 

“We are thrilled to celebrate Dynasty as the first-ever Marc Hill Rising Star Award winner and to recognize her incredible achievements and growth as she embarks on her new career and continues her journey. She represents what CareerWork$ is all about. Dynasty, we’ve got your back and we are so proud of you,” said CareerWork$ President Sherry Cromett. “We know that Marc would be really proud that his legacy has brought people together to celebrate dynasty, and this his work had impact on people like Dynasty as they move forward in their career.” 

“We are so excited to see Dynasty blossom in her new career and to see her honored in this way. Dynasty was a model student who was committed to learning and growing, and she contributed to our classroom as a supportive team member and engaged learner. She met every challenge with courage,” said B.J. Colwell, Dynasty’s instructor with the Goodwill of Colorado program.  

“It’s a privilege to have Dynasty as one of our colleagues in our market. She is showing our community that financial literacy is real, attainable, and accessible to everyone. Dynasty has a lot of people supporting her, and we celebrate her today,” said Patrina Pettry, Consumer and Business Banking Market Leader for Denver Market, U.S. Bank.“ 

Instructor Spotlight: For Shantelle Faison, BankWork$ Was “Designed to Help the Underdogs”

Shantelle Faison has had an extensive, nearly 20-year career in financial services: A teller and mentor at First Union Bank (which later became Wachovia) where she also supported the hiring process; a Lead Teller and then a promotion to Service Manager at Wells Fargo; a Personal Banker; and later, a Branch Operations Manager for Santander Bank.  

And how did Shantelle find out about BankWork$? 

Continue reading “Instructor Spotlight: For Shantelle Faison, BankWork$ Was “Designed to Help the Underdogs””

Employer Partner Spotlight: For RadNet, CareerWork$ Medical Graduates “Succeed Because They Come Prepared”

RadNet, a national leader in outpatient imaging with 334 locations, has approximately 8,600 employees nationwide. As the largest provider of comprehensive imaging services in the country, it has critical recruiting needs in areas like patient services.  

Career Work$Medical and its graduates are helping “genuinely meet our need,” says Ruth Wilson, RadNet’s Senior Vice President for Human Resources. “As CareerWork$ Medical has grown, it’s become a pipeline for us.”  

Since forming a partnership in 2019 with our Los Angeles-based Training Partner, JVS SoCal, RadNet has already hired 15 CareerWork$ Medical graduates into roles with career potential – and nearly all remain with RadNet after their first year of employment.  

Those graduates bring hard and soft skills from the comprehensive, eight-week training program for non-clinical roles that CareerWork$ Medical offers and was co-developed by employers and community-serving organizations to ensure success. 

“CareerWork$ Medical gives people the tools that make them successful in the transition to companies like ours,” added Ruth. “They succeed because they come prepared. They have a level of confidence in their training and have exemplified commitment to completing a program. They have the hard and soft skills they need. They are prepared for a real-world experience – and that’s what we offer.”  

For Elise Levine, Associate Director of JVS SoCal’s Healthcare Programs, who draws on her more than 30 years of experience in health care administration, a key way to help employer partners like RadNet meet their organizational goals is “constantly asking our partners like Ruth what they are focused on and looking for. We like to think of ourselves as being a recruiter without a commission. We’re always thinking about where our students could be placed. We help our students identify their strengths, and we really try and job match. Our role is to make our students successful.”  

What sets CareerWork$ Medical apart beyond its training focused on both hard and soft skills needed for non-clinical careers in healthcare is that it attracts students who “want to work for a place where they can make a difference,” says Ruth. “We want people who have that intrinsic motivation, commitment, and genuine empathy. As an employer, I can do anything with that. So, we’d be foolish not to consider CareerWork$ Medical a resource for finding  great employees.”  

As a large employer in the healthcare field, what’s Ruth’s advice to people considering participating in the CareerWork$ Medical program?  

“Find not just a job, but a chance to empathize with people. Working at RadNet offers students a chance to make a difference for our patients and something to be passionate about. If you are about people, then this is the program for you.”