Project ARRIBA, a community-based nonprofit dedicated to workforce and economic development in El Paso, announced Tuesday that the organization is receiving $250,000 over the next three years in grant funds from Bank of America to help the program fill the rising need for healthcare workers in the area.
With the El Paso region is experiencing a shortage of healthcare workers at a critical time, officials say this grant will help guide underemployed communities toward well-paying, stable jobs that directly impact the success of the region.
In El Paso, 45% of the region’s Hispanic population does not have training beyond high school, and 45% of households in poverty are female-headed.
ARRIBA’s programs connect individuals in the Hispanic community to critical resources like language courses and financial guidance that empower participants to seek higher education and fill important gaps in El Paso’s workforce.
“We’re incredibly thankful for this contribution from Bank of America,” said Roman Ortiz, CEO for Project ARRIBA. “This generous gift bolsters our efforts to invest in this region and its people and ensures we can continue offering the resources and guidance necessary to connect El Pasoans with jobs and opportunities that truly benefit our community.”
More than two decades of data collected as part of an impact study funded by the Hunt Family Foundation indicates that Project ARRIBA’s programs have added nearly $900 million in value to the El Paso economy, and further show that every dollar invested through ARRIBA’s programs returns more than $28 to the community.
“Health is one of the components that helps create vibrant and competitive communities, and that is why investing in our healthcare workforce is so key here to the future of El Paso,” said Woody L. Hunt, Chairman of the Woody and Gayle Hunt Family Foundation. “Project ARRIBA has become a crucial community partner that is helping build the next generation of healthcare workers who come from and understand the unique needs of our region and we’re excited to see their work and impact grow through the investment Bank of America is making in their successful model.”
This project is the most recent in a long history of development initiatives from Project ARRIBA aimed at assisting economically disadvantaged individuals in gaining the education and job skills needed for demand occupations that pay a family-sustaining, living wage in El Paso. These efforts create proven support systems that offer multigenerational opportunities to participants and their families.
In 2019, registered nurses earned wages over $50,000, and continued growth in the region means skilled staff will remain in demand for years to come.
“Project ARRIBA’s 20-plus years of workforce development prove that investments in human capital create organic, impactful returns for the El Paso community,” said Kristi Marcum, Bank of America President in El Paso. “Supporting Project ARRIBA in their mission to generate social and economic equity is a natural extension of our work and part of our overall efforts to advance economic mobility here in El Paso.”
Bank of America has provided longstanding support to Project ARRIBA, including a donation of $40,000 last year to support its Building Pathways to the Middle Class through Higher Education Project.
This grant supports Bank of America’s focus on advancing racial equality and economic opportunity within its $1.25 billion commitment over five years. Announced in June of 2020 and expanded further in March of 2021, the bank’s commitment is focused on driving meaningful and lasting change in the areas of health, jobs and re-skilling, supporting minority-owned small businesses, and affordable housing.