Bank Training Program Makes Dreams of a Career Come True

by Foster Dennin | January 19, 2024

A training course at Catholic Charities opens doors to promising career opportunities in finance and customer service.

Established in 2018, the Bank Sales Representative Training Program provides comprehensive training for bilingual bank teller positions and other entry-level careers. Participants in the 10-week course learn skills required for specific finance roles and receive valuable support in developing job-readiness skills, soft skills and professional conduct. The program has produced 260 graduates, with 25 percent of them going on to employment with financial organizations.

“We want to help people who are looking to work in finance and customer service,” said Norma Solano, workforce development manager. “This is an important opportunity to have a better understanding of how these types of businesses work in the U.S.”

The program, offered three times a year, covers banking concepts, products, regulations and terminology in sessions taught by two instructors with a background in finance. Supplementing coursework is access to finance professionals. Bank of America, Truist Bank, Chase Bank, M&T Bank, Wells Fargo and Lafayette Federal Credit Union open their offices to visits by course participants, and banking professionals hold mock job interviews to give students real-world experience and feedback.

In a graduation ceremony for 15 participants in fall 2023, Marthe Nyampundu told her fellow classmates: “Banking studies was a dream to most of us, but today we stand to testify that our dreams are going to become a reality. What we learned were not only lessons of working in finance, but they were also in fact lessons of life that we will take with us beyond this course.”

Understanding the importance of soft skills in the workplace, the program also offers specialized training to help participants develop job-readiness skills such as effective communication, problem-solving, time management and teamwork.

“This is not merely a career move, but a march toward new opportunities, fresh challenges and the promise of making a real impact in the financial world,” said Brenda Tshilanda, another recent graduate.

Catholic Charities accommodates various schedules and preferences with its three 10-week training courses each year. Classes are held four times a week, each for four hours. Participants can attend classes in person at our locations in Northwest D.C. at the Michael H. Kappaz Training Center at the Spanish Catholic Center, in Silver Spring at the Catholic Charities Center, or via Zoom.

The first program course in 2024 will be Feb. 5 to April 11.

To be eligible, applicants must have a high school diploma or a GED and have prior experience in sales and bilingual fluency. Applicants are interviewed, and they must attend an orientation session before starting the program. For more information, visit