Bank of America announced $210,000 in grants to be distributed to 35 nonprofits working to increase educational and workforce development opportunities in Fairfield and New Haven counties. Finding a well-paying job continues to be a challenge in our state, with the unemployment rate at 6.3% this month, an increase from the national average.

The nonprofits receiving support focus on connecting youth and adults, including the unemployed and underserved, to workforce opportunities and education and skills-building. Funding will help individuals living in low-income neighborhoods, who are disproportionately impacted by unemployment and other barriers to workforce participation, access opportunities that will advance long-term sustainable growth in Southern Connecticut.

“Investing in our workforce is one of the ways we are addressing issues fundamentally connected to economic mobility,” said Bill Tommins, Bank of America Southern Connecticut Market President. “We’re proud to partner with nonprofit organizations like The Women’s Business Development Council that are helping to build a more sustainable community.”

The Women's Business Development Council (WBDC), of Connecticut, a longtime partner of Bank of America, provides women-business owners of start-ups, emerging and established companies with financial, management and entrepreneurial training. WBDC clients generated revenues of over $155 million and created an estimated 158 new businesses and an estimated 247 new jobs in the state between 2013 and 2015.

“With support from Bank of America, and through the WBDC Access to Capital and Budget Coaching programs, WBDC will be able to provide financial and entrepreneurial education to over 50 women and 45 small businesses, who will in turn retain or create over 30 jobs in Connecticut," said Fran Pastore, WBDC President & CEO. “For close to two decades, WBDC has provided support to entrepreneurs and business owners and we will continue to broaden our impact in the Fairfield, Hartford, and New Haven counties as we reach more entrepreneurs and business owners.”

Other organizations receiving grants include:

  • Achievement First

  • Boys & Girls Club-Meriden

  • Boys & Girls Club-Stamford

  • Bridgeport 2016 Youth Champion Campaign 2016 — City of Bridgeport

  • BuildON

  • Cardinal Shehan Center

  • Career Resources

  • Carver Center


  • Fairfield University

  • Girl Scouts of CT

  • Greater Waterbury YMCA

  • Housatonic Community College

  • Inspirica

  • JA of Southwest CT

  • JA of Western CT

  • LEAP

  • Life Bridge

  • McGivney Community Center

  • Mercy Learning Center

  • Norwalk Community College Foundation

  • Regional YMCA of Western CT

  • Sacred Heart University

  • Stamford – The Mayor’s Youth Employment Program

  • Teach for America – Bridgeport, New Haven

  • United Way of Greater New Haven

  • United Way of Greater Waterbury

  • Wakeman Boys & Girls Club

  • Women's Business Development Council

  • Youth@Work (City of New Haven Youth Services Department

These grants are part of Bank of America’s commitment to responsible growth as it works to improve the financial lives of individuals and families in Southern Connecticut. Philanthropic and volunteer investments play a key role in this effort. During 2015, Bank of America associates volunteered nearly 30,000 hours at nonprofit agencies throughout Connecticut.