SLO Partners Named Bank of America’s 2023 Neighborhood Champion

Nonprofit Will Receive Multi-Year Grant, Leadership Training to Expand Job Training in San Luis Obispo

San Luis Obispo, CA – Bank of America today announced SLO Partners as the 2023 Neighborhood Champion® awardee for its work providing career upskilling and re-skilling for under- and unemployed San Luis Obispo County residents. SLO Partners will apply the Neighborhood Champion $50,000 multi-year grant and leadership training towards expanding its apprenticeship accelerated career training programs to include high-demand careers in the healthcare and aerospace industries.

Neighborhood Champions is part of the bank’s Neighborhood Builders program — one of the largest philanthropic investments into nonprofit leadership development in the nation. As a Neighborhood Champion, SLO Partners also will receive leadership training for its executive director and an emerging staff member delivered by experts in the nonprofit sector on topics like human capital management, increasing financial sustainability, and storytelling.

Established in 2018 as an initiative of the San Luis Obispo County Office of Education, SLO Partners provides accelerated career pathways for county residents through its career upskilling apprenticeship programs, enabling participants to earn head-of-household incomes while addressing the skilled talent shortage of local businesses. To date, the organization has upskilled and trained over 350 people, resulting in more than $7 million in wages earned in the county. This Neighborhood Champion grant will enable SLO Partners to expand its accelerated training programs by creating more apprenticeships in high-demand fields.

“We are thrilled to be named Bank of America’s 2023 Neighborhood Champion,” said Paula Mathias-Fryer, Senior Director at SLO Partners. “This recognition will enable us to further expand our apprenticeship programs into high-demand fields like aerospace and healthcare. We’re excited about the positive impact these will have on our community’s workforce and economy.”

The invitation-only Neighborhood Champions program is highly competitive, and nonprofits are selected by a committee comprised of community leaders and past awardees. Four nonprofits have been selected as Champions in San Luis Obispo since the program was first offered in 2019 including El Camino Homeless Organization (ECHO) Economic Vitality Corporation (EVC), People’s Self-Help Housing, 5Cities Homeless Coalition.

“Nonprofits are vital to solving social challenges, improving communities, and promoting economic advancement,” said Greg Bland, president, Bank of America San Luis Obispo. “Providing SLO Partners with flexible funding and leadership training not only positions the nonprofit for sustainable, long-term success, but demonstrates our commitment to creating real change in the places where we live and work. SLO Partners does a remarkable job of curating relationships among local businesses and the community while strengthening the local economy.”

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