BOSTON (CBS) - A special opening for a brand new community-based Chase Bank in Mattapan designed to reflect the neighborhood it serves. Every worker at the branch lives in or near Mattapan.
The branch is part of a 5-year $30 billion effort. WBZ-TV's Paula Ebben had the chance to speak with CEO and Chairman Jamie Dimon about why it matters.
Employees cheered as Dimon joined local workers to cut the ribbon officially opening the Mattapan Community Bank – a branch with a purpose. It's one of 30 Chase branches opening around the country as part of a larger effort to help close the racial wealth gap.
Branch Manager Brian Samuel says, "When you look at what we're trying to do here in Boston and the surrounding communities, we're really trying to provide support for the community and help them break the generational cycles that they've gotten themselves in to… and making sure that they're heard and they're catered to."
That means investment in job training as well as hiring that comes from the local area. Community Manager Sabrina Correia grew up in Roxbury. "I always tell people I teach financial health," Correia adds.
Watch Full Interview With Jamie Dimon, CEO of JPMorgan Chase
How does changing the staffing of a bank alter the relationship with the community it's in? "The staff of a bank need to reflect the community," adds Correia. "One thing I know for this Mattapan community is that 70% of the folks who live in Mattapan are of Haitian descent. Half of the staff here speak Haitian-Creole so when someone's walking into the branch, they have someone who can speak their language."
CEO Jamie Dimon says it's just good business. "We want everyone to feel welcome," he said. "This is about financial education." He adds that these community branches get more loan officers, can tap into local artists and use local vendors for everything from cleaning and supplies.
"We want our people to be part of the community," Dimon says. "Introduce themselves up and down the street to small businesses here to consumers here...and it works."
It's worked for Keith Dixon, a DJ who came in for a small business loan who raves, "This is a great place to start your process if you're really trying to get into anything. I think Chase is great - they've helped me since I walked through the door."
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