- Collaboration creates career path in banking, removes barriers to employment in Austin, Little Village and other Chicago communities
- Cara expanding cohort-based inclusive employment framework to additional organizations
CHICAGO, Sept. 23, 2020 /PRNewswire/ – Cara and BMO Harris Bank announced today a workforce development program co-created to remove barriers to employment and increase access to careers in banking and finance. The two organizations extended job offers to a cohort of 12 Chicago job seekers following their inaugural hiring event, held virtually on Sept. 16.
The program, entitled BMORE, represents a new model for both Cara and BMO in which the organizations collaborated to recruit, train and place individuals into customer service roles at the Chicago-based bank. Cara and BMO co-created each step of the program from recruitment through onboarding to support the new team members. In addition, the Customer Experience Representative (CER) job description was workshopped with Cara job seekers to better appeal to local, diverse talent.
Newly hired CERs will assist customers while building meaningful partnerships, as well as support branch operations and serve as critical brand ambassadors for BMO.
Recruitment for the BMORE program focused primarily on the Austin and Little Village neighborhoods in support of Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s INVEST South/West initiative, which is designed to address economic disparity in key neighborhoods across the city, but the roles were open to all Cara participants. Because transportation is often a barrier to employment, candidates were considered for roles at BMO branches that are easily accessible by public transportation. Community partners Austin Coming Together, Latinos Progresando and Instituto del Progreso Latino collaborated on recruitment for the program in Austin and Little Village.
“We are extremely proud to partner with our friends at BMO Harris for this unique, but critical program,” said Joe Mutuc, Cara’s chief business development officer. “Our mission is to unlock the power and purpose within our communities and ourselves to achieve real and lasting success, and a big component of that is working with employers, like BMO, to recognize the untapped workforce talent across our city and creating equitable opportunities for everyone. Our hope with this initiative is that it will inspire other companies to assess and evaluate their own hiring practices.”
“We started building the BMORE program in 2019 to deepen our long-term connection with the communities we serve and to remove barriers to inclusion,” said Ernie (Erminia) Johannson, BMO’s group head of North American Personal and Business Banking. “That thinking inspired this collaboration with Cara – creating a pathway for people with barriers to employment to have access to a career in financial services. We’re excited to bring this…