Creating "Moments of Good" in the Banking Industry
Duncan Campbell | President & CEO
As seen in the Q1 edition of paBanker Magazine

It is hard to believe that we are three months into another year. Not much has changed, as we are still facing a global pandemic, economic uncertainty and strong political division within our country. Turning on the news or reading the local newspaper can be quite overwhelming.

With so much unpredictability, I find it helpful to focus on what we can do to create “moments of good” in these uncertain times, both personally and professionally. For me, personally, I look for every opportunity to spend time with my family, whether that means being involved in my boys’ sports teams, engaging in youth group activities at our church or joining my wife in taking our dog for a nice, long walk. Working remotely throughout this pandemic has been difficult for so many of us for a multitude of reasons, but I am grateful to have had the opportunity to spend valuable time with my family.

Creating “moments of good” in a professional setting has been a bit more difficult over the last two years, with the various state and federal restrictions that have been put in place. But, even with the restrictions, we have made the most of it by sharing countless stories of our members’ service to the community in our “Community Corner” social media posts and paBanker Magazine, assisting in remote notarization legislation to better serve the members of the commonwealth, and supporting the amazing work of our banks as they navigated the Paycheck Protection Program. Additionally, one of the most meaningful pieces of the PA Bankers 2021 Convention was our bankers’ service to the local Marco Island community, as we worked to support the hunger needs of so many. We plan to add this service component to this year’s convention in Scottsdale, and I hope you will consider joining us in our effort to spread some good.

Through community contributions, PPP loan assistance, remote notarization and more, our industry went above and beyond in 2021 to support its customers, communities and the commonwealth’s economy. And that is truly something special. As we move further into 2022, it is PA Bankers’ goal to give back to the industry that has done so much over the last two years by continuing to look for ways to create industry- specific “moments of good.”
One major way we believe we can assist the Pennsylvania banking industry is to focus on something vital to both the association and the industry: recruiting and developing the next generation of bankers.

This ideal, which is one of the association’s strategic initiatives, is crucial to our industry’s sustainability and future leadership. Many people outside of our industry do not know that banking is more than the traditional positions they see in retail banking, lending and compliance or that banks of all sizes need talented staff to handle jobs ranging from digital banking and cybersecurity, to HR, communications and more. Essentially, they do not know that you do not need a degree in finance to be a banker.

You all have made great strides to reach out to the next generation of bankers, including various internship opportunities and community events, and we intend to compliment your efforts by creating “moments of good” through our “Why Banking?” video campaign, CSBS Community Bank Case Study Competition and BankWork$ program, as well as through the launch of our new internship program. 
As you may recall, we created the “Why Banking?” video campaign, which provided younger bankers with valuable tools and resources for career development. The campaign showcased the real stories of seven young bankers and their careers, affirming what we already know: our future is bright and rooted in the core principles of banking – customer service, community engagement and dedication to the industry. The video is still available on our website today and is a great recruiting tool for our industry.

For the last four years, the association has supported the Conference of State Banking Supervisors Community Bank Case Study Competition. The competition is a national program that pairs undergraduate student teams with local community banks to conduct original case studies on relevant topics.

In addition to providing undergraduate students with an excellent opportunity to engage and gain valuable knowledge of the banking industry, the case study competition serves as a platform for community banks to tell their individual stories. It is an opportunity to build an understanding of the community bank business model and the role community banks play in local communities, and it is a mechanism for connecting academics and millennials with the community banking industry –proving to be a unique recruiting tool for the next generation. The 2022 competition is currently underway, and we wish all of the Pennsylvania teams well as they participate in the program. If you are interested in participating in next year’s competition, please contact Karen McDermott.

For five years, the association has supported the BankWork$ program. Working in communities of need and with students who typically would not be considered qualified candidates for banking/financial services positions, BankWork$ offers opportunities to succeed in well-paying jobs that can lead to a lasting career in the banking industry.

Each eight-week class is designed to train entry-level bank tellers, customer service representatives and personal banker candidates and ultimately provide and connect those candidates to local banks and financial institutions. The program is currently operating in Pittsburgh and Philadelphia, but we are actively planning and developing the expansion of Bankwork$ into central Pennsylvania, as we feel that this region would highly benefit from the advantages this program provides. We will keep you updated as developments occur.

Finally, to round out our next-gen efforts, I am pleased to announce that PA Bankers has partnered with Shippensburg University to develop a bank-centered intern program for our member banks. The 12-week program will launch this summer through a pilot effort in South Central PA to include five banks of varying sizes, 25-30 students, Shippensburg University and Millersville University. During this pilot phase, the program will be developed and refined before it is launched statewide in 2023 to all member banks and state system schools across the commonwealth.

The goal of this effort is to provide students real-world experiences with project-based assignments by gaining exposure, opportunity and support to develop and grow both personally and professionally. Students will learn about career paths that explore a variety of skills and interests within the banking industry, providing employers access to qualified interns who can support critical job functions within the banks.

The intended program learning outcomes will include an inside look at desired banking career fields, while working next to some of the best in the industry. Interns will receive specialized training that will build upon their technical and essential/ employability skills, as well as build their network as they learn about the culture within the banking industry.

We are very excited to roll out this new offering, and we hope that you will join us with your support of the program. If you have any questions about this new internship program, please contact Michelle Staton.

Creating “moments of good” has never been more important than it is now in these unprecedented times. Through these four initiatives, we can better the industry by recruiting and developing the next generation of bankers. It is my goal that we reach as many young professionals as possible and show them why banking is an amazing career. Bankers not only support their customers, but they also support local businesses, the state and national economies, and their communities.

And who wouldn’t want to be a part of that?

PA Bankers is proud to support you because together we are making a difference.