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Bank of America commits funds to create Leadership Academy.

Bank of America Community Development Bank (BofA)has made a $1. 1 million commitment to establish the Bank of America Leadership Academy, a unique executive training program for community-based development organizations nationwide.

BofA will fund the academy, which will be operated by the Development Training Institute (DTI) with the support of the Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC).

The announcement came during a reception held by Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin recognizing BofA and 37 other banks for their increased support of community development efforts.

BofA, which received $2.6 million in Bank Enterprise Awards (BEA) from the Treasury Department, has pledged to return all of its award money back to the community. The BEA program was created out of the Community Development and Regulatory Improvement Act of 1994 as a way to encourage commercial banks to increase their lending and investments in distressed low-income and high unemployment communities. It is administered by Treasury's Community Development Financial Institutions Fund.

Rubin saluted Bank of America for its outstanding support of community development efforts.

"It is programs such as the Bank of America Leadership Academy which will set the standard and help raise up the next generation of community leaders," Rubin said. This unique program will fill a critically important role, and we congratulate Bank of America, the Development Training Institute and the Local Initiatives Support Corporation for their innovative efforts. They are showing the way."

Over the next three years, the Bank of America leadership Academy will provide comprehensive training to 105 leaders of a wide variety of community-based organizations through a series of skills-building workshops focusing on affordable housing production, economic development, asset management, organizational development, collaboration building, and professional leadership development. Each participant will receive 30 days of intensive training over a nine-month period in workshops conducted at DTI's Baltimore campus.

The academy is the only program of its kind designed to train executive directors and senior managers of community-based development organizations.

"We are very pleased to be involved in this effort with DTI and LISC," said BofA Executive Vice President Donald Mullane. "We think this investment in human capital is the most important investment we can make. This Academy fills a critical need."

The Local Initiatives Support Corporation recruited most of the participants for this year's program. The Development Training Institute designs, organizes and conducts the workshops.

"We are pleased to work with Bank of America and the Development Training Institute in creating a national network of community development leaders," said Orlando Artze, LISC Program Vice President. "These are proven people of talent and potential, who have a real commitment to America's neighborhoods."

LISC, based in New York, is the nation's largest community development support organization. Established by the Ford Foundation in 1979, LISC has raised more than $2.4 billion for community based development in more than 100 cities.

DTI was established in 1982 to advance the knowledge and practice of community building across the U.S. through training and technical assistance programs. DTI President Joe McNeely said Bank of America's commitment far surpasses anything any other bank has ever done to train community organization executives.

"We believe this program will inspire and nurture community development practitioners to build the kind of organizations that will revitalize America's neighborhoods," McNeely said. "And the nice part is that everyone benefits, from the community groups to the banks to the public at large. BofA, is really providing a great service."
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Title Annotation:Bank of America Community Development Bank
Publication:Real Estate Weekly
Date:Aug 13, 1997
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