Bank of America has announced $3.97 million in grants to 104 Los Angeles area nonprofits that will help drive economic opportunity and upward mobility for individuals and families and put them on a path toward stability and success.

The local nonprofits receiving funding primarily provide workforce development services building pathways to employment, including providing education and resources to rebuild careers that may have been impacted by the pandemic. Additional programs funded by these grants support basic needs such as hunger relief, healthcare and emergency shelter, resources also critical throughout the pandemic.

The first of two rounds of grants to be issued by the bank in 2021 is coming at a critical time as the region reopens and rebounds, with local economists estimating it could take three more years until Los Angeles’ employment levels reach pre-pandemic levels, noting a fundamental need for developing more resilient, inclusive systems to address the disproportionate impacts to people of color, women and those in education, including teachers.

“The strategic investment into immediate short-term and longer-term needs has been key in helping disadvantaged communities progress as society and the economy begin to safely reopen,” said Raul A. Anaya, president, Bank of America Los Angeles. “By investing in Los Angeles’ incredible network of nonprofits, Bank of America provides philanthropic capital to help advance economic and social progress, enabling our region to succeed.”

Many nonprofits already are putting the bank’s recent round of investments to work in communities hardest hit by the pandemic or to address social injustice. Many recipient organizations are providing job skills in some of Los Angeles’ poorest neighborhoods where unemployment rates are as high as 30 percent.

For example, JVS SoCal, which continues to see a demand for its services due to lingering economic impacts of COVID-19, is using its funds to provide career-readiness training to residents in low-income areas across Los Angeles County for jobs in healthcare, medical back-office support, apartment management, and in banking. More than 70 percent of JVS’ clientele are Latino and Black. The P.F. Bresee Foundation sees high unemployment and socio-economic isolation in Central Los Angeles and is utilizing its funds to train and mentor youth from low-income families on such soft skills as resume writing, email etiquette, and emotional intelligence. The program generally secures jobs for youth after training.
EXP, which has seen how the pandemic left many Los Angeles teens and young adults feel disconnected and hopeless, is looking to reach hundreds of underserved high school students across the county to improve graduation rates and prepare them for college or careers.

Santa Monica grantees include:

Boys and Girls Club of Santa Monica
The Boys and Girls Club of Venice
The Chrysalis Center
Upward Bound House
Westside Food Bank
Visit about.bankofamerica.com for more information.

Submitted by Stacy Schwartz, BCW California Grassroots Team