Wilmington, DE – Bank of America today announced Delaware Center for Horticulture (DCH) and Delaware Technical Community College Educational Foundation as the 2023 Neighborhood Builders® awardees for their work advancing economic mobility and building up underserved neighborhoods in Delaware. Through this multi-year grant funding and extensive leadership training for the nonprofits’ leadership, programs and services addressing secondary education, job readiness and workforce development will be able to expand to meet the community’s needs.

The Neighborhood Builders program is one of the largest philanthropic investments into nonprofit leadership development in the nation, providing comprehensive leadership training for an executive director and an emerging leader on topics ranging from increasing financial sustainability, human capital management and strategic storytelling, and the opportunity to join a national network of peer organizations. Each Builder is also awarded a $200,000 grant over two years.


“Delaware Center for Horticulture and Delaware Technical Community College Education Foundation are working to solve diverse social and economic challenges through each of their unique focuses: horticulture and job readiness,” said Chip Rossi, president, Bank of America Delaware. “It is essential to provide these nonprofits with flexible funding and leadership training to position them for sustainable, long-term growth so they can continue to uplift the Delaware communities they serve through expanded educational and workforce development opportunities.”


Delaware Center for Horticulture cultivates greener communities through horticulture education, planning and maintaining Delaware’s urban forests, improving public health through the power of plants and increasing access to locally-grown produce. DCH uses urban agriculture as a tool to engage and inspire communities, offering several educational and workforce training programs to increase community involvement. This new grant funding will help DCH expand the Branches to Chances® workforce training and placement program for unemployed, underemployed and/or formerly incarcerated individuals, allowing graduates to continue their training and employment with the Delaware River Climate Corps. It will also support DCH’s community forestry program outreach and engagement efforts while providing employee benefits to trainees to ensure their well-being.

“The global pandemic further emphasized the need for accessible, stable employment among all members of the DCH community,” said Vikram Krishnamurthy, executive director, Delaware Center for Horticulture. “This funding will have a significant impact by helping to increase meaningful employment opportunities in horticulture for our Branches to Chances® program graduates and to provide our leadership with stability and essential succession planning skills.”


The Delaware Technical Community College Educational Foundation raises funds for Delaware Technical Community College (Delaware Tech) students to ensure an accessible education for all who wish to attend the college. This new grant funding will help Delaware Tech establish the Accelerated Patient Care Technician/Nursing Program for high school students attending William Penn High School in New Castle, DE. The program will allow fifteen students in their junior and senior years to earn industry-recognized credentials and complete three college credit courses for free, kickstarting their pathway to an associate degree in Nursing while in high school. Delaware Tech will also use the grant funds to purchase laptops and textbooks for participating students.


“As Delaware’s only community college, we recognize the importance of having programs in place that address both the needs and goals of our students, community and state,” said Dr. Mark T. Brainard, president, Delaware Technical Community College. “This support furthers our partnership with Bank of America and will help develop our staff to shape curriculum and inform educational offerings at the college. In addition, this will help students gain access to a quality education and assist students from underserved communities who are seeking a position in the health sector early in their academic careers.”


The invitation-only program is highly competitive. Nonprofits are selected by a committee comprised of community leaders and past Builders awardees. In Delaware, 29 nonprofits have been selected as Neighborhood Builders since 2006, with the bank investing more than $5.4 million into these local organizations.


Since 2004, Bank of America has invested more than $300 million in nearly 100 communities across the U.S., partnered with more than 1,600 nonprofits, and helped more than 3,000 nonprofit leaders strengthen their leadership skills through the Neighborhood Builders and Champions program.


Bank of America


Bank of America is one of the world’s leading financial institutions, serving individual consumers, small and middle-market businesses and large corporations with a full range of banking, investing, asset management and other financial and risk management products and services. The company provides unmatched convenience in the United States, serving approximately 69 million consumer and small business clients with approximately 3,900 retail financial centers, approximately 15,000 ATMs (automated teller machines) and award-winning digital banking with approximately 57 million verified digital users. Bank of America is a global leader in wealth management, corporate and investment banking and trading across a broad range of asset classes, serving corporations, governments, institutions and individuals around the world. Bank of America offers industry-leading support to approximately 4 million small business households through a suite of innovative, easy-to-use online products and services. The company serves clients through operations across the United States, its territories and more than 35 countries. Bank of America Corporation stock is listed on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE: BAC).

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