June 12, 2009 09:07 ET

JVS' BankWorks™ Training Program Provides Innovative Solution to Job Crisis

Donor and Partner Citi to Make Presentation at L.A. Graduation and Hiring Fair on June 15

LOS ANGELES, CA--(Marketwire - June 12, 2009) - With unemployment at an all time high, Angelenos are looking for innovative solutions to the job crisis. JVS -- L.A.'s first and most experienced non-profit focused exclusively on workforce development -- offers BankWorks™, a free training program designed to put people on the path to a career in the financial sector. More than 75% of BankWorks™ graduates have found jobs in the financial services industry, with 70% still employed six months later. The program will celebrate its continued success with a graduation and hiring fair on June 15 at the Expo Center in Los Angeles. Citi, one of the program's key supporters and partners, will be on hand to present a $50,000 donation to support BankWorks™.

"Anything we can do to help people find jobs ultimately benefits all of us in the community," said Lisa Deloney, Citibank's Metro Southern California Division Manager. "And JVS' BankWorks program also benefits banks and the banking industry. It's a program that Citi is proud to support."

The BankWorks™ program was developed by JVS in partnership with former Wells Fargo Chief Operating Officer Les Biller of The Sheri and Les Biller Family Foundation, along with Bank of America, Chase, Citibank, City National Bank, Pacific Western Bank, US Bank, Union Bank, Well Fargo and United Way. The eight-week program trains participants for jobs as bank tellers, the first step on the career ladder in the banking industry. In addition to job training, BankWorks™ provides job placement assistance and ongoing coaching for retention and career advancement, with starting salaries between $20,000-$35,000 plus benefits. To be eligible, clients must be at least 18, speak and write English, and have basic computer skills.

"We are at the frontlines of today's turbulent job market," said JVS CEO Vivian Seigel, "and we are seeing a huge increase in the numbers of people coming to us for help, looking for a chance to start over and seeking growth industries that are still hiring. BankWorks™ along with JVS' other training programs in the health care and green technology fields, offers the expertise and resources to put Angelenos back to work."

This program is also part of a larger initiative to address high turnover rates in the financial services sector and is a highly replicable model for other industries. A first step on a career ladder with unlimited potential for advancement within the banking industry, the BankWorks™ program attracts a wide diversity of students facing barriers to employment from communities throughout L.A.

As Los Angeles' first and most experienced non-profit dedicated exclusively to career and workforce development, JVS has helped hundreds of thousands of people from all backgrounds and circumstances overcome obstacles and achieve career success. Last year, JVS helped more than 25,000 people from 18 training and counseling centers located throughout Southern California. Founded in 1930, the agency's mission remains the same, to help people build better lives, one job at a time. That help takes many forms, with programs customized to serve the needs of clients ranging from career professionals to at risk, foster and probation youth, people with disabilities and those transitioning from welfare to work. JVS collaborates with city, state and government agencies as well as other non-profits, to ensure that everyone has access to the help they need. For more information, visit

Contact Information

  • Media Contacts:

    Melissa Jarvis-Prieto
    323-761-8888 x8774
    JVS Los Angeles PR

    Janis Tarter
    Citi Public Affairs