Madison, WI – BMO Financial Group today announced a $650,000 investment in several Madison community programs and organizations. These contributions will support the Urban League of Greater Madison's Black Business Hub, The Center for Black Excellence & Culture, and Boys & Girls Clubs of Dane County's McKenzie Workforce Development Center.
"Investments like these are at the core of our Purpose, to Boldly Grow the Good in business and life," said Anthony Hudson, Regional President, Retail Banking, Wisconsin, BMO Financial Group. "We are pleased to work with these great organizations to help make progress for the Madison community. Today's announcement, with these tremendous partners, exemplifies our commitment for a thriving economy, sustainable future, and inclusive society throughout the communities we serve."
"We are proud to work with the Urban League, The Center for Black Excellence & Culture, and the Boys & Girls Clubs to support the delivery of these important community programs. Alongside the economic growth and prosperity achieved by customers we serve, this financial commitment is a direct investment in the future of the Madison economy," said Jeff Ticknor, Senior Vice President and Group Marketing Director, Commercial Banking, Wisconsin, BMO Financial Group.
BMO is investing $250,000 over five years in the Urban League of Greater Madison's Black Business Hub. The Hub will serve as an entrepreneurial incubator for small businesses created by people of color. It will serve as an economic anchor, drawing resources to the area to create opportunities for business growth, employment, and social development. The Hub will support 200 Black-owned businesses and entrepreneurs, create or relocate 150+ jobs, and train Black real estate developers.
"The Urban League of Greater Madison is enormously proud of the partnership that we have with BMO in creating greater access to opportunities in the banking industry," said Ruben L. Anthony, Jr., Ph.D., President and CEO, Urban League of Greater Madison. "As we are on a mission to help build wealth for Brown and Black people in this community, BMO is right there with us, supporting initiatives such as the development of the Black Business Hub. This project and partnership we will create wealth for multiple generations."
BMO is also committing $250,000 over five years to The Center for Black Excellence & Culture. The Center will be a state-of-the art performing and visual arts center, cultural center, business innovation and co-working space all under one roof. The Center will ensure Dane County is a place where talented Black people build their careers, raise their families, and contribute to the local economy. It will offer unique, multi-generational, interconnected programming to support the Black community and engage the entire Madison community.
"The Center for Black Excellence and Culture offers an exciting and important opportunity to create a cultural home for the Black community in Madison. This important investment in The Center demonstrates BMO's support in making the Madison community a welcoming, culturally rich home where everyone has the opportunity to thrive. We are grateful for BMO's leadership and commitment to The Center," said Dr. Alex Gee, Founder, The Center for Black Excellence and Culture.
In addition, BMO's contribution of $150,000 over three years will help support Boys & Girls Clubs of Dane County's McKenzie Workforce Development Center. The Development Center is creating career pathways for individuals to gain certifications or on-the-job training for skilled trades. The Center will educate, and support interested youth to pursue careers as plumbers, carpenters, HVAC technicians, electricians and more. BMO's investment will allow young adults to access resources, programming, and support systems that will generate transformational change for families in South Central Wisconsin.
"Recently, we took on an initiative to build a skilled trades center that will offer the youth in our community another pathway to success and BMO was one of the first supporters to join our cause. Their team members are helping us build out a $35 million youth work force center by providing volunteers, funding, and guidance to help us achieve this historic goal, which will ultimately improve the labor shortage and racial disparities we see in our region," said Michael Johnson, CEO, Boys & Girls Clubs of Dane County.
BMO has committed more than $1 million to the Madison community. These investments are integral to BMO EMpower, BMO's five-year, $5 billion commitment to address barriers faced by minority businesses, communities, and families.