Why is Capital One Funding Workforce Development in Health Care?

The Bronx is a tough part of New York. More than 30 percent of Bronx residents live below the federal poverty line and unemployment is well above the national average, especially for young people of color. That's why it's so important that funders like Capital One Foundation are investing in workforce training, to help people get on the first rung of the employment ladder in health care.

Before saying more about what Capital One is up to, we should note that a number of banks have zeroed in on workforce issues through their philanthropy, so you if run a nonprofit in this area, financial institutions should definitely be on your radar. 

Related - Yet Another Bank Turns Its Focus to Work Skills and College Success

The Capital One Foundation doesn't have an explicit program for workforce development, and instead lists education, community development, and financial education as its main priorities

But clearly, this issue is on its radar, since it recently granted $40,000 to the Paraprofessional Healthcare Institute (PHI) to support training and employment for home care aides in the Bronx. This is a particularly smart investment because of the growing need for home health aides, and because, generally, the longer a senior can remain home-based, the more comfortable and cost effective their care tends to be.

PHI's program reaches deep into poverty to bring trainees on board, reporting that the majority of their enrollees earned less than $5,000 in the year prior to starting the program, and that number is inclusive of public benefits. If they complete the program, they are guaranteed a job as a home health aide making about $10.00 an hour.

Capital One prides itself on reaching out to customers who couldn't get financing elsewhere. And while it's gotten in trouble with regulators in various ways in recent years, like most banks, it is trying to do some good stuff. 

In 2013, Capital One made a public commitment to invest $180 billion in the community over the next ten years. This commitment covers all of its major lines of business including grants, mortgages, small business loans, and housing and commercial loans and investments. Of this money, $450 million will be dedicated to grants, with a plan to expand into the areas of small business development and affordable housing.

Capital One funds national initiatives as well as local initiatives in Louisiana, New Jersey, New York, Texas, Virginia, and Washington, DC. You can see the progress report here.

With the growing elderly population and the changes in health care, demand for home health aides is expected to increase by 1.3 million over the next decade. Grant-seekers in workforce development for health care paraprofessionals would do well to check out the grant process with Capital One and consider applying.