BMO Harris Bank has granted $7,500 to CAP Services’ Skills Enhancement Program. The funds will assist individuals in Portage, Waupaca, Waushara and Outagamie counties.

The Skills Enhancement Program is a locally designed workforce development program that assists working, low-income individuals obtain the skills needed to compete for living wage jobs. The program assists with tuition, books, and training-related transportation and child care costs that participants could not otherwise afford.

“Continuing to support the efforts of CAP Services is important to us because we realize the positive impact the program brings to our local communities,” said John Tubbs, BMO Harris Bank Regional President. “BMO Harris Bank believes in enriching the communities we serve and supporting workforce development programs is a natural extension of that.”

The 55 individuals who graduated the Skills program in 2015 saw an average increase in annual income of $14,950; their average hours increased from 27 to nearly 37 hours per week; and almost 70 percent – 38 of the 55 graduates – gained access to employer-sponsored health care benefits.

“BMO Harris Bank has demonstrated a strong commitment to building strong and healthy communities,” said Mary Patoka, CAP President and CEO. “The investment in the Skills Enhancement Program truly creates long-term permanent change for families. Parents are better able to care for their families and children witness the importance of education. We appreciate their partnership.”