BofA Names East Lake Foundation 2022 Neighborhood Builder®

BofA Names Automotive Training Center and East Lake Foundation 2022 Neighborhood Builders®

Program Provides $200,000 in Flexible Funding to Each Organization and Leadership Development Training to Advance Economic Mobility in Atlanta

Programs and services that are addressing Atlanta’s workforce development and affordable home ownership will help more people chart a path toward economic opportunity with help from a multi-year grant from Bank of America. The Automotive Training Center (ATC) and East Lake Foundation have been named as the 2022 Bank of America Neighborhood Builders® awardees for their work in the Atlanta community removing economic barriers and advancing economic opportunity.

Each organization receives a $200,000 grant over two years, comprehensive leadership training for the executive director and an emerging leader on topics ranging from increasing financial sustainability, human capital management and strategic storytelling, joins a network of peer organizations across the U.S., and gets the opportunity to access capital to expand their impact. The program continues to be the nation’s largest investment into nonprofit leadership development.

“Nonprofits are the backbone to our local community as they are on the ground working closely with individuals, families and community members to understand the obstacles many are experiencing and developing programs and services that will help alleviate or eliminate these barriers, helping them chart a path toward economic opportunity,” said Al McRae, president, Bank of America Atlanta. “It’s important that we direct not only capital, but the necessary resources and training to help position these nonprofits and their leadership team for long-term success as they grow strategically and make a positive impact.”

The Automotive Training Center is a program that provides technical training for entry-level employment in the automotive repair industry. ATC provides students opportunities to grow their technical and entrepreneurial skills through a positive, encouraging and challenging learning environment. They will use their grant funding to purchase a new facility and operating funds to purchase equipment to train more students.

“We are truly honored to be a Neighborhood Builders Award grantee,” said Larry Witherspoon Jr., executive director, Automotive Training Center. “The leadership training and funding provided by this grant will not only help us move to a larger facility, it will bolster our training so that we can serve more students and provide them with more advanced experiences. Our programs equip non-traditional students from under-resourced areas who are at risk of incarceration with the soft skills and technical training to pursue a path to livable wage careers in or outside of the automotive industry. The training we offer simultaneously reduces the skills gap in the automotive repair industry, fuels our mission, and provides a service to the community. This grant comes at a critical time in our growth that might not be possible without Bank of America’s support.”

East Lake Foundation collaborates with public and private organizations to provide equitable opportunities and tools that enable Atlanta’s East Lake residents to thrive through its holistic model of place-based community revitalization. East Lake’s innovative model includes mixed-income housing, educational opportunities from cradle to college and career, and community wellness. Entrepreneurship, career readiness, financial literacy, and youth golf instruction are a few of the many resources provided to help improve life outcomes.

East Lake will use their grant funding to support the construction of The Trust at East Lake, a new affordable housing development in partnership with the Atlanta Land Trust. Utilizing the community land trust model, the 40 for-sale townhomes will provide affordable home ownership opportunities for the 99 years of the trust. Bank of America has been a philanthropic partner of the East Lake Foundation since its inception. In all, Bank of America has provided nearly $1 million in grants to the East Lake Foundation since becoming the first corporate member (formerly NationsBank) of the East Lake Golf Club to help revitalize the neighborhood more than 25 years ago.

“In East Lake, as in many other Atlanta-area communities, high-quality, affordable housing options are critical to the success of families and the community,” said Ilham Askia, president and CEO, East Lake Foundation. “The most exciting part about supporting The Trust at East Lake development is that we are collectively addressing the housing affordability crisis in Atlanta not just for today’s families, but for future generations.”

The bank’s invitation-only grant program is highly competitive, and organizations are selected by a committee comprised of community leaders and past Neighborhood Builders honorees. Here in Atlanta, 38 nonprofits have been selected as a Neighborhood Builder, with the bank investing $7.6 million into these local organizations through the program.

Since 2004, Bank of America has invested more than $300 million in 92 communities through Neighborhood Builders and Neighborhood Champions programs, partnering with more than 1,500 nonprofits and helping more than 3,000 nonprofit leaders strengthen their leadership skills. Neighborhood Builders is just one example of how Bank of America deploys capital in communities, builds cross-sector partnerships, and promotes socioeconomic progress as part of its approach to responsible growth.

Bank of America Environmental, Social and Governance

At Bank of America (NYSE: BAC), we’re guided by a common purpose to help make financial lives better, through the power of every connection. We’re delivering on this through responsible growth with a focus on our environmental, social and governance (ESG) leadership. ESG is embedded across our eight lines of business and reflects how we help fuel the global economy, build trust and credibility, and represent a company that people want to work for, invest in and do business with. It’s demonstrated in the inclusive and supportive workplace we create for our employees, the responsible products and services we offer our clients, and the impact we make around the world in helping local economies thrive. An important part of this work is forming strong partnerships with nonprofits and advocacy groups, such as community, consumer and environmental organizations, to bring together our collective networks and expertise to achieve greater impact. Learn more at, and connect with us on Twitter (@BofA_News).


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Reporters May Contact

Matthew Daily, Bank of America, 404.607.2844