Skills for Rhode Island’s Future and Southside Community Land Trust Each Receive $200,000 Grants from Bank of America to Address Issues Critical to Communities

Funding will help reduce joblessness and increase access to nutritious food

PROVIDENCE – Skills for Rhode Island’s Future and Southside Community Land Trust have been selected as the 2019 Bank of America Neighborhood Builders awardees for Rhode Island. The nonprofits were selected for their work in the state to address issues fundamental to the health and vitality of our communities.

As an awardee, each organization receives a $200,000 grant, a year of leadership training for the Executive Director and an Emerging Leader at the organization, access to a network of peer organizations across the U.S., and the opportunity to access capital to expand their impact. This year marks the 16th anniversary of the Neighborhood Builders program nationwide. Since 2004, Bank of America has invested more than $220 million in 49 communities through Neighborhood Builders, partnering with more than 1,000 nonprofits and helping more than 2,000 nonprofit leaders strengthen their leadership skills. The program is one of the nation’s largest philanthropic investments in nonprofit leadership.

“The Neighborhood Builders program gives nonprofit organizations in Rhode Island the power to transform lives and drive economic mobility in the communities in which they operate,” said Bill Hatfield, Bank of America’s Rhode Island President. “Skills for Rhode Island’s Future and Southside Community Land Trust are focused on addressing important issues challenging our community, and they are positively impacting countless individuals and families. Both of these organizations represent the finest of what we look for in Neighborhood Builders.”

Skills for Rhode Island’s Future is a nonprofit working to match businesses that have current, unmet hiring needs with qualified unemployed and underemployed job seekers. This demand-driven approach addresses both joblessness and staffing needs by pairing them directly together. Local employers commit to fill their unmet hiring needs with qualified unemployed and underemployed residents of Rhode Island. Job seekers are placed into these identified opportunities. Skills for Rhode Island’s Future has been launched with support from the Rhode Island Department of Labor and Training and in partnership with the Greater Providence Chamber of Commerce.

“It is such an honor and a privilege to be selected as one of this year’s Neighborhood Builders by Bank of America. This award and the accompanying training and networking opportunities will help propel our organization forward and advance our mission of ensuring that every Rhode Islander has a pathway to economic security and mobility,” said Nina Pande, Executive Director at Skills for Rhode Island’s Future.

Southside Community Land Trust serves people in economically challenged urban neighborhoods where fresh produce is scarce and who, as a result, are at risk for life-threatening, diet-related chronic diseases. They help by educating people about diet and nutrition, agriculture and the environment; building and managing community gardens and farms; providing low-cost agricultural resources and support to community gardeners; and training beginning farmers and enabling them to sell their produce to members of their communities.

“This award will enable Southside Community Land Trust to build stronger programs through community outreach while also increasing our internal management capacity. It builds on decades of sustained and meaningful growth while creating new possibilities for the future of our organization and the people and communities we serve,” said Margaret DeVos, Executive Director for Southside Community Land Trust.

About Bank of America Environmental, Social and Governance

At Bank of America, our focus on Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) factors is critical to fulfilling our purpose of helping make people’s financial lives better. Our commitment to growing our business responsibly is embedded in every aspect of our company. It is demonstrated in the inclusive and supportive workplace we create for our employees, the responsible products and services we offer our customers, and the impact we help create around the world in helping local economies thrive. An important part of this work is forming strong partnerships across sectors – including community and environmental advocate groups, as well as nonprofits – in order to bring together our collective networks and expertise to achieve greater impact. Learn more at and connect with us on Twitter at @BofA_News.

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