Company Makes Commitment to Promote Economic Development in South L.A.
CIT Bank, N.A., and its Southern California retail bank division, OneWest Bank will provide a $1.25 million grant over five years to the University of Southern California (USC) Cecil Murray Center for Community Engagement.
The grant, which was announced at a launch breakfast on Feb. 17, supports a new financial fitness program that will offer financial literacy training to community leaders with the goal of promoting economic development in low-to-moderate-income Los Angeles neighborhoods.
Over the course of five years, the Murray Center will partner with churches to train 6,000 individuals in personal financial management and small business development, including credit remediation, savings and investments, and homeownership. Staff from the Murray Center, along with volunteer CIT bankers and financial professionals, will instruct the workshops.
“Urban communities suffer from the poverty of money, safety, and most of all opportunity. CIT/OneWest Bank is giving people in these often overlooked communities the chance to gain financial capabilities,” said the Rev. Mark Whitlock, executive director of the Murray Center at USC.
“With CIT’s generous support, the Murray Center will be able to help religious leaders and their constituents gain knowledge and resources for financial fitness, which will transform communities into better places to live, work, and worship.”
Ellen Alemany, CIT Chairwoman and CEO, said, “We are here because we believe if the community prospers, we prosper. It’s a fundamental part of our business model. A program like this gives people freedom. Financial literacy means freedom for people. It’s gives them the ability to go out and live the American dream.”
Rick Lieber, senior vice president, CIT, stated, “We’re focused on building pathways to economic sustainability by addressing the issues of financial education and community development. Through our philanthropic efforts and the power of our employee volunteers, we’re working to create thriving economies and a better future for us all.”
To learn more about USC Murray Center, visit crcc.usc.edu/murraycenter. For information on CIT, visit cit.com.