TAMPA, Fla. – Pinellas County Urban League and Corporation to Develop Communities of Tampa, Inc. (CDC of Tampa) announced that through a $75,000 commitment from Bank of America to each organization, they’re now able to expand their workforce development programs to fund additional virtual trainings, job placement and relief assistance for minority communities in the Tampa Bay area who were hit hardest by COVID-19.
Blacks/African American (B/AA) and Hispanics/Latinos (H/L) are disproportionately affected by poverty, pre-existing health conditions, and unemployment. COVID-19 has magnified these historical inequities, further widening the racial-wealth gap and demonstrating a heightened need for workforce training and reskilling.
“Although we had to close our physical doors as result of the pandemic, we have continued to meet the demands of our clients through online training and telephone counseling,” said Ernest Coney, CEO of CDC of Tampa. “The enhancement of our virtual programming and comprehensive workshops will allow us to expedite retraining from hospitality and tourism positions to more stable careers, such as construction and manufacturing.”
Since the beginning of the pandemic, Pinellas County Urban League and CDC of Tampa have seen a substantial increase in the number of individuals requesting assistance and seeking reemployment due to furloughs and layoffs.
The CDC of Tampa, which offers job coaching, skills development and training, has experienced a 231% increase in the number of individuals served in their workforce development programs compared to 2019. As part of the new initiatives made possible by the funding, the organization is partnering with the City of Tampa to create a talent pipeline in construction to facilitate the hiring and training of entry-level and skilled positions.
Similarly, Pinellas County Urban League provides resources and services for residents seeking reemployment, small business assistance and support due to the pandemic. The organization also expanded sessions focused on mental health and wellness to address stress and anxiety caused by financial uncertainties.
“Many of our customers who have been affected by business closures are highly concerned about making ends meet, which has led to a rise in requests for assistance with job placement, training, and even more critical basic needs, such as rent, bill payment and food,” said Watson L. Haynes, II, president of Pinellas County Urban League. “Our long-term partnership with Bank of America helps further our mission to empower our community and combat the current health crisis.”
With a focus on improving lives and strengthening communities, the Bank of America Charitable Foundation earlier this year announced a nationwide $1 billion, four-year commitment to help local nonprofit partners address economic and racial equality. The two new $75,000 Tampa Bay-area grants are in addition to $25,000 grants the organizations also received earlier this year to address immediate COVID-19 needs in the pandemic’s early stages.
“The current health and economic crisis has disproportionately impacted communities of color, and we’re committed to doing everything in our power to help these communities overcome barriers to social and economic opportunities,” said Bill Goede, Tampa Bay market president for Bank of America. “Pinellas County Urban League and CDC of Tampa are doing incredible work to provide Tampa Bay area residents the tools and resources they need to rebuild their lives and get back on their feet toward financial stability.”
To learn more and support these organizations in their efforts, visit www.cdcoftampa.org/ and www.pcul.org/.
About Pinellas County Urban League
Founded in 1977, the Pinellas County Urban League is the premier social service and civil rights organization in Pinellas County, Florida, and is one of the National Urban League’s network of nonprofit, community-based affiliates located in the United States.
About the CDC of Tampa
To alleviate poverty and physical deterioration within a ‘community of neighborhoods’, the Corporation to Develop Communities of Tampa, Inc. (CDC of Tampa) was founded by civic and community leaders. Over time it has demonstrated excellence deploying strategies to reduce disparities in the lives of individuals and families throughout the Tampa Bay region. Programming includes youth success, workforce development, housing counseling and financial education, residential and commercial real estate development. CDC of Tampa is a charter member of the NeighborWorks® network, consisting of 250 private nonprofit affiliates working in nearly 4,500 urban, rural and suburban communities nationwide. https://www.cdcoftampa.org/