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BMO receives Cara Collective’s Good Neighbor Award recognizing innovative inclusive workforce development program BMORE

Cara Collective, a workforce development organization dedicated to eradicating poverty, has recognized BMO with its 2022 Good Neighbor Award upon the 2-year anniversary of the BMORE program. BMORE was co-created between BMO and Cara to remove barriers to employment and increase access to careers in banking and finance.

The Good Neighbor Award is presented to organizations whose partnerships with Cara Collective have helped its mission expand its reach to fuel a courageous national movement to eradicate relational and financial poverty. Nearly $390,000 has been invested by BMO in Cara’s job seekers and the BMORE program has resulted in dozens of new Associate Banker roles across the bank’s Chicago branches. Leveraging nearly 30 years of workforce development experience, Cara provides BMO candidates with work readiness training, screening and skills assessment, and each year, places people experiencing poverty and homelessness into nearly 1,000 jobs with its partner companies.

“Building inclusive pathways takes time, energy and consistent attention. For more than fourteen years, BMO has walked alongside us at Cara Collective, and as a result, dozens of jobs have been placed with BMO through our organization,” said Kathleen St. Louis Caliento, President and CEO of Cara Collective. “We are thrilled to recognize BMO for consistently reflecting and improving how we work together to reach untapped workforces in our communities – and, through BMORE, BMO has demonstrated to other companies how they can assess and evaluate their own hiring practices to create equitable opportunities for everyone.”

The BMORE program aligns with BMO’s Purpose to Boldly Grow the Good in business and life, and supports Zero Barriers to Inclusion 2025, a multi-year strategy focused on providing access to opportunities and enabling growth both inside and outside its doors for those facing systemic barriers.

“In only two years, we’ve scaled recruitment for the BMORE program from Chicago’s Austin and Little Village neighborhoods to now all of Chicago, Madison and Milwaukee to help the communities we serve make progress and to remove barriers to inclusion,” said Ernie (Erminia) Johannson, Group Head, North American Personal & Business Banking, BMO Financial Group. “Through our long-term work with Cara Collective, we are creating pathways for people with barriers to employment to have access to careers in financial services and we look forward to continue growing the program across BMO’s footprint.”

Community partners Austin Coming Together, By the Hand, CBO Collective, Chicago Urban League, Instituto del Progreso LatinoLatinos Progresando, Mercy Housing, Skills for Chicagoland’s Future and Youth Job Center continue to collaborate with BMO and Cara on recruitment for the program throughout Chicago.

About Cara Collective

Cara Collective seeks to fuel a courageous national movement to eradicate relational and financial poverty. Through our four entities – Cara, Cleanslate, Cara Connects, and Cara Plus – we engage job seekers, employers, and other organizations across the country to break the cycle of poverty through the power and purpose of employment. Since 1991, we’ve helped more than 8,000 people get placed into more than 13,000 jobs and get started on their path to real and lasting success. 

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