CareerWork$® Celebrates Key Milestone As 4,000 Program Graduates Have Started New, Meaningful Careers

CareerWork$ is celebrating a key milestone: more than 4,000 graduates of its BankWork$® and CareerWork$ Medical® programs have started new, meaningful, and lasting careers after completing these programs.  

“The real impact behind this incredible milestone is that it means more than 4,000 families now have far more economic stability,” said Sherry Cromett, President of CareerWork$. “That’s a milestone worth celebrating. As we continue to face the challenges of the pandemic, I am immensely proud of the CareerWork$ team and particularly inspired by our training partners, instruction staff, and employer partners for their resilience and resourcefulness in rapidly changing circumstances. They always put students first. Every single career started is a result of their efforts—and couldn’t be done without our supporters. Thank you for your continued belief in this important work.” 

CareerWork$ builds a collaborative and cross-sectoral approach to launching new careers: we bring local employers and workforce development training organizations together with young adults lacking access to lasting careers via our free, eight-week, industry-specific career training programs around the country. We facilitate direct connections between job seekers who want lasting careers, and local employers with open roles. By engaging employers from the beginning of the process, these employers know our graduates are ready to get to work—and job seekers know they aren’t just starting jobs, but are launching lasting, stabilizing careers.  

Eighty-two percent of CareerWork$ and BankWork$ program graduates are BIPOC, more than 50 percent are bilingual or multilingual, and participants earn an average of more than $1,000,000 in increased lifetime earnings, compared to if they had not completed the program. Click here to learn more about CareerWork$ impact in communities across the country. 


BankWork$® Graduate Ashley Yates Builds A New Career in Financial Services with Wells Fargo

Ashley Yates

Before her career in financial services, Ashley Yates was working in retail in the Los Angeles area, and feeling stuck. 

“I wasn’t really looking for a future. But I knew I needed a future.”  

So when Ashley’s mother told her about a free career training opportunity she’d seen with our training partner in the Los Angeles area, JVS SoCal, Ashley was interested. She connected with the JVS SoCal team and began the free, eight-week comprehensive training in October 2019.  

Over the next two months, Ashley and her peers learned the industry-specific skills and the customer service, communications, confidence, and workplace skills needed to succeed as customer-facing banking staff. At the end of the program, Ashley and the rest of the cohort celebrated in a graduation ceremony and personalized job fair, where participants interviewed for open positions with industry partners in the region. 

Participating in BankWork$ “was the greatest experience ever and I wouldn’t change it for the world. I’ve learned to not just have respect for myself, but respect for my colleagues and respect for what I do. My life has definitely changed a lot. BankWork$ really changed the personal and professional direction of my life.”  

Today, Ashley continues to thrive in that new direction and in a career in financial services in her role as a Teller at BankWork$ employer partner Wells Fargo in Los Angeles, California. 

For Ashley, the most rewarding part of her career in banking with Wells Fargo is “meeting new customers every single day and helping them succeed financially. Knowing I am there and helping them out makes me feel good.” She also values having direct relationships with her clients and knowing them on a first-hand basis. 

This summer, Ashley was invited by JVS SoCal Associate Director Julian Hampton to speak at a virtual graduation as an alumna guest.  

Ashley’s advice to the new graduates was to stay positive and believe in the value of the BankWork$ program, knowing it was both the “shortest and longest eight weeks of your life.” 

Lessons learned in BankWork$, Ashley concluded, “will change you and will open doors for you. Keep going. Don’t stop. There are always new opportunities out there in the industry. Always have an open mind.”