Cambridge – For 30 years, East Cambridge Savings Bank and Cambridge Rindge and Latin School (CRLS) have partnered to operate the school’s educational training facility and the bank’s high school branch. Since the program began in 1989, 178 students have completed the program, several of whom still work at the Bank today.
Each academic year, members of the senior class can elect to take the Bank Operations course which includes paid training and a job opportunity at the Bank for students after graduation. This hands-on educational program falls under the auspices of the Rindge School of Technical Arts-CRLS’s vocational school that prepares students for careers in fields ranging from automotive repair to culinary arts. Michael Ananis, RSTA’s Executive Director, reflected on the unique nature of the Bank’s program. “The Rindge School of Technical Arts provides Cambridge students with a strong academic and technical background to help them succeed in today’s rapidly changing workplace. East Cambridge Savings Bank’s educational training program is a mutually beneficial partnership that enables students to gain hands on experience and lays the groundwork for a career in banking,” said Ananis. “Students who begin the program with limited customer service experience or uncertainly about working in a professional environment finish the program with more confidence and a better understanding of a career path they can pursue.”
Four current employees who completed the program as high school students still work at the Bank today. “I remember how taking the course and training for a job at the Bank definitely helped me come out of my shell and gain confidence when interacting with the public,” said Lisa Pacheco, a Human Resources Specialist and CRLS graduate. “I never considered a career in banking, but I have been with the Bank for over 20 years and was able to work part-time while earning my college degree. In my current role I recruit and train the high school students who are just starting the program so for me, it’s come full circle.”
Other CRLS graduates from the program currently work in various roles at the Bank including as customer service representatives, senior sales associates, and as the Executive Assistant to the President and CEO.
While several banks in the state operate branches inside a high school, the collaboration between East Cambridge Savings Bank and Cambridge Rindge and Latin also provides comprehensive training, job opportunities immediately after graduation, and the ability to advance and grow within the Bank. President and Chief Executive Officer Gilda Nogueira elaborated on how the program is one of the many ways that the East Cambridge based mutual bank supports the city and its residents. “The high school branch and our partnership with CRLS is something we are very proud of and see as one of our key responsibilities as a community focused financial institution,” said Nogueira. “Providing educational programs, training, and a job opportunity is not something we do because it helps the bottom line, but rather because it is the right thing to do for our community, neighbors, and local economy.”
Nogueira went on to note that while the high school branch has never turned a profit, the opportunities it provides to students are invaluable. “We also award scholarships for students who complete the program if they choose to pursue higher education. Investing in the future success of these students is also a key part of the program,” Nogueira said.
Partnerships between Cambridge based companies and the city’s public schools are common, but the continued commitment between the school and the Bank have been crucial to the program’s longevity. A bank employee is assigned to manage the high school branch during the school year and work side-by-side with students as they learn the basics of banking, retail operations, and professional services. This is in addition to a CRLS faculty member who teaches the bank operations course.
“This longstanding collaboration between East Cambridge Savings Bank and CRLS exemplifies the commitment and dedication of the business community in Cambridge,” said David Maher, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Cambridge Chamber of Commerce. “It is often the local banks like East Cambridge that step-up to provide more than just a financial contribution,” Maher remarked. “This program demonstrates that when a member of the business community partners with our public schools, the value of this broadened educational experience directly benefits our city’s young people.”
Just before graduation, the Bank invites students who have completed the bank operations program to a lunch with senior management. “I will never forget when one student told us ‘Thank you for trusting me’”, said Nogueira. “We trust these students to work in a bank setting and we give them opportunities to learn. When we see them succeed, it reminds us why we continue to facilitate this program.”
In addition to the educational training facility and high school branch, the Bank partners closely with the school’s creative design class by providing a paid summer internship to a member of the program and hosting a graphic design contest.
Located near the main entrance of CRLS, the high school branch is open to students and staff to conduct bank business during the school year.
For more information, please call 617.551.2353 or visit ecsb.com.
About East Cambridge Savings Bank:
East Cambridge Savings Bank is a full-service mutually-held savings bank that believes in connecting with customers. The Bank was established in 1854 and is dedicated to providing businesses and individuals with a full line of banking services in the communities it serves. Headquartered in Cambridge, the Bank has locations in Arlington, Belmont, Cambridge, Chelsea, Medford, Somerville, and Waltham, as well as an educational training facility at Cambridge Rindge and Latin School. The Bank is a member of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) and the Depositors Insurance Fund (DIF).
About Cambridge Rindge and Latin School:
Cambridge Rindge and Latin School is the comprehensive public high school for Cambridge Massachusetts. Nearly 2,000 students attend one of four CRLS Learning Communities or the High School Extension Program. The student motto, "Opportunity, Diversity, Respect" reflects the school's commitment to providing a welcoming learning experience for all students, over 60% of whom are students of color. CRLS students reflect the international flavor of the City of Cambridge, and over 60 languages are spoken within its halls. Among the innovative programs offered at CRLS are award-winning Visual and Performing Arts, Writing, Engineering, Media Arts and History programs as well as cutting-edge technical education offered at the school-within-a-school, Rindge School of Technical Arts.
CRLS is one of 17 schools in the Cambridge Public School District, which also includes 12 elementary schools, 4 Upper Schools, and several early childhood programs. The vision of Cambridge Public Schools is: rigorous, joyful, culturally responsive learning + personalized supports leading to post-secondary success as engaged community members.
Assistant Vice President, Public Relations Officer
East Cambridge Savings Bank