$250K Eastern Bank/Charitable Foundation grant = job training scholarships for high-demand fields

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From left, Joseph Reilly, former NH regional president, Eastern Bank; Paul Spiess, board of directors, Eastern Bank; Katie Merrow, vice president of community impact, New Hampshire Charitable Foundation; Bob Rivers, Chair and CEO, Eastern Bank; and Dick Ober, president and CEO, New Hampshire Charitable Foundation. Photo/Cheryl Senter

CONCORD, NH – A new partnership between the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation and the Eastern Bank Charitable Foundation means hundreds of New Hampshire residents will get scholarships that will give them the opportunity to move quickly into high-wage, rewarding jobs.

Thanks to a $250,000 grant from Eastern Bank Charitable Foundation, plus matching donations by generous New Hampshire families, the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation will nearly double the number of scholarships awarded for short-term education and workforce training over three years. Awards will be given to students in professional training, certificate programs and two-year degree programs.

“These incredibly generous gifts will give people the opportunity to do fulfilling work that increases their families’ economic security and helps them contribute to and sustain New Hampshire’s communities and economy,” said Richard Ober, president and CEO of the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation. “These scholarships are life-changers for New Hampshire families, and will help meet critical workforce needs in New Hampshire.”

Scholarships will be awarded to people working to earn high-value credentials in high-demand fields, including traditional trades, advanced manufacturing, financial services, health care and information technology.

The program focuses on students who experience barriers to opportunity: New Americans, those with significant financial need, and students who are the first in their families to attend college.

Bob Rivers, Chair and CEO of Eastern Bank, said “This partnership represents the perfect alignment of Eastern’s mission as a social enterprise and the needs of business. Helping students who are the first in their family to attend college, for example, gain access to opportunity through education and workforce training is not only the ‘right thing’ to do, but also the ‘smart thing’ to do, as we and other businesses depend upon the further growth and vibrancy of the workforce and our communities throughout New Hampshire.”

Eastern Bank Charitable Foundation has made more than $2.7 million in grants to approximately 300 New Hampshire nonprofits since 2015, and has donated 10 percent of its net income to charity over 10 years. It has focused significant recent grantmaking towards supporting immigrants in our communities.

“Without immigration, the population and economy of New England would not be growing,” Rivers said. “As they always have been, New Americans are a very significant economic and cultural driver without which the health of our communities would be in peril.”

This new scholarship fund is a part of the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation’s New Hampshire Tomorrow initiative, a 10-year, $100-million effort to increase opportunities for young people. As part of that effort, the Foundation is providing more scholarships for students seeking nontraditional pathways to the workforce, including two-year degrees, certificates, and short-term workforce training. The new scholarship fund created by the recent donations is called the New Hampshire Tomorrow Eastern Bank Foundation Fund.

Generous New Hampshire Charitable Foundation donors have stepped up with matching funding for scholarships. The Charitable Foundation continues to raise funds toward a 100 percent match of the Eastern Bank grant, which will allow it to increase the number of scholarships awarded.

The New Hampshire Charitable Foundation will administer the scholarships through its student aid program. The Charitable Foundation is New Hampshire’s statewide community foundation and the largest provider of publicly available student aid in New Hampshire, awarding more than $6 million to some 1,600 New Hampshire students each year.

Students may apply through the Charitable Foundation’s online application: www.nhcf.org/medallionfund.