Pat Ramsey, Vice President of Community and Economic Development at Fifth Third Bank, shared her passion for Workforce 360° and partnering with OhioGuidestone.
What are Fifth Third Bank’s values and how do they fit with OhioGuidestone?
Our values are simple – we are here to strengthen and serve our communities. We also try to make sure we put our customers and our communities at the center of everything we do. We want to create strong, vibrant communities that will provide pathways for people to be strong individually and, therefore, be strong contributors to their communities as well.
We believe it’s important for us to support Workforce because that’s the basis of how people will thrive in our communities. You have to have a good job to take care of your family, housing and your basic needs. We want to make sure that people have access to that, that people are involved in work readiness programs and are also trained in job specific skills that will get them better than minimum wage pay.
How has OhioGuidestone affected you and Fifth Third Bank?
We have learned so much about the impact of OhioGuidestone in our community. I never knew about the R Rules curriculum until we partnered with them to include that in our Young Bankers Club, Fifth Third’s financial literacy curriculum for young people. We learned quite a bit from that to the point that we invited OhioGuidestone to come into our bank and actually do a workshop on Bridges Out of Poverty. You’re talking about having an organization that
we’re partnering with in the community to have an impact on the people that work for the bank. We also invited people from the community to participate in Bridges Out of Poverty because we figured if we’re going to send our people out into the community, they need to know the individuals they are going to be working with—to understand what kind of choices people have to make in order to survive and support their families.
Why are you and Fifth Third Bank so invested in OhioGuidestone’s Workforce 360° programming?
We see the commitment and experience OhioGuidestone brings to the community in order to deliver a quality program. The years of experience that they have allows us to say, “Yes, we can partner with this organization,” and know that we’re going to generate positive results—that people are going to be successful when they go through this program.
A couple years ago, we supported the YouthBuild program. At that time, we supplied the dollars for the wraparound services for the people being trained in construction. Those two things go hand-in-hand, you can’t do one without the other. People have challenges within their lives and within their families and if you don’t pay attention to what they’re going through, there’s no way they can be successful in their work life. We’re there to be the family of support they need in order for people to be successful and to move up with their lives.
We also partner to bring our E-Bus, or Financial Empowerment Mobile, to OhioGuidestone. The Financial Empowerment Mobile is a bus that has 14 computers. The workforce development classes can come on our bus, pull their credit report and learn what their credit is all about, where it stands and perhaps develop a plan in order to get their financial life together. We feel that it’s important for us to also bring that to the table with OhioGuidestone to let people understand that financial education is key to unlock your financial needs and understand your financial status.
What has been your proudest achievement with OhioGuidestone so far?
The fact that we have people involved on the board but also that we have supported the YouthBuild program to help people move forward. I think that has been extremely important. Also, combining all the assets and values of both organizations to really believe that we can move people forward in our community, to be in better job situations and to be financially stable.
Do you have a particular story you’d like to share when working with our Workforce 360° participants?
In 2018, we did a filming of the YouthBuild program. We actually took two participants out, sat them down and said, “What makes this a successful program?” And the young man in that film said, “When I came here not only did they set me up to get training but they helped me find housing, they helped me connect with transportation, they helped me connect with all of this.” And he said, “Thank you Fifth Third for supporting OhioGuidestone for doing this.” To me that was like, “Yeah, that’s what it’s all about!”
Is there anything else you’d like to share regarding your experiences with OhioGuidestone?
I just want to give kudos to the wonderful staff at OhioGuidestone. You can tell that their hearts are truly in everything that they do. Their hearts are in the mission and it makes it so easy for us to say, “Yes, this is the reason why we’re here.” That we can continue to serve our communities with quality partnerships. I project that we will be a partner with OhioGuidestone for a very long time.