Bank of America Names Augusta Technical College as Neighborhood Champion in Recognition of Work to Advance Economic Mobility in Augusta

Staff Report

Friday, October 30th, 2020

Bank of America today announced Augusta Technical College as a Neighborhood Champion, a recognition that includes both grant funding and leadership training. The Neighborhood Champions program supports the role strong nonprofit leaders play in advancing economic mobility, and is an extension of the bank’s signature philanthropic initiative, Neighborhood Builders®, the largest corporate philanthropic investment in nonprofit leadership in the country. Alongside Augusta, the bank will bring the program to over 40 additional communities across the U.S. this fall as part of its commitment to investing in the long-term health of communities.

As part of the program, Augusta Technical College will receive $50,000 in grant support and an opportunity for engagement in virtual leadership training delivered by experts in the nonprofit sector. Augusta Technical College has partnered with Bank of America for more than 15 years to advance economic mobility and create workforce development opportunities. They have been a leader in tackling challenges the local economy has faced in bridging the trade skills gap needed for local industries to retain and attract a younger workforce. 

“As we consider many of the challenges that our communities are facing – from the health and humanitarian crisis brought on by the coronavirus to the need for progress on racial equality and economic opportunity – the Neighborhood Champions program is a relevant and timely initiative to support the communities we serve,” said Ora Parish, Augusta market president for Bank of America. “This program enables partners like Augusta Tech to plan strategically for growth and long-term sustainability, and we look forward to seeing how this investment helps Augusta Tech make even greater strides to address the workforce development needs of our community.” 

Applications for the Neighborhood Champions program are by invitation-only for nonprofits poised to take their work to the next level. Leading members of the community participated in a collaborative selection process to identify this year’s awardee. Examples of the topics for the virtual leadership training awarded include human capital management, increasing financial sustainability, and storytelling. 

“The Augusta Technical College Foundation is profoundly grateful for the Bank of America Neighborhood Champions grant, as it will help refurbish our Programmable Logic Control (PLC) Lab in our Economic Development Division’s Center for Advanced Technology,” said Beverly Barshafsky Peltier, director of institutional advancement at Augusta Technical College. 

“This lab will be used to train manufacturing employees around the CSRA and will improve their skill set while on the manufacturing line. In addition to this funding, we are grateful for the leadership opportunities also included with this grant, as professional development for staff is an important component of what we do as a college and keeps our staff’s skill set sharp. Bank of America is a leader in community development, and we look forward to the opportunity to be a part of this training series.” 

Since the program’s inception last year, Bank of America has invested $4.2 million in 84 organizations within 42 communities through the Neighborhood Champions program. The Neighborhood Champions program in Augusta will strengthen the bank’s commitment to advancing economic mobility and nonprofit leadership. 

This year, Bank of America has contributed more than $350,000 in grants to 20 local nonprofit organizations in the Augusta-Aiken community, including Aiken Technical College, Augusta Training Shop for the Handicapped, ForcesUnited and Goodwill Industries of Middle Georgia and the CSRA. These philanthropic efforts are building pathways to economic progress by addressing workforce development and education. 

Recent Bank of America announcements focused on advancing economic mobility include: