Wells Fargo gives 20K to HCC


Thomas Hopkins

Wells Fargo gave $20 thousand to the HCC Foundation, presenting the check on Sept 17 at the Board of Trustees meeting. Pictured here are Wells Fargo representatives with members of the HCC board of trustees, HCC Chancellor Cesar Maldonado and representatives of the HCC Foundation scholarship fund.

Alyssa Foley, Editor in Chief

Wells Fargo gave $20 thousand to the HCC Foundation, presenting the check on Sept 17 at the Board of Trustees meeting. Over the past six years, the bank has given $120 thousand to support HCC students.

Half of the donation will go to students in HCC’s bank teller program where after nine credit hours, students can earn a marketable skills award.

“Financial services today, we’re in the risk business. Everything we think about, we think about risk. But one of the biggest risks that we have as a community is a workforce that enables us to grow as a community,” explained Tom Debase, the South-Houston area president of Wells Fargo. “The work that HCC does helps us, Wells Fargo, mitigate that risk.”

“Our goal is here to allow the many students that you serve continue their education and reach the goals that they strive to attain,” added Carmy Williams, executive director of the HCC Foundation.

Trustee Adriana Tamez commented that she was a bank teller for ten years, “it really allowed me to pay for my schooling.”

Earl Smith is the director of the bank teller program at HCC central. “We put students through three courses to get them ready to apply as a bank teller,” explained Smith in a phone interview.

The scholarships pay for the tuition of low-income students. There are no lab fees or textbooks to buy for the program, so the scholarship “pays all of their costs,” noted Smith.

He added that, “A lot of banks donate to our scholarship fund,” not just Wells Fargo. About half of the students receive scholarships.

Smith said that the program, “gets lots of support from area banks because they hire our students… I’ve never had a situation — and I’ve been here for 33 years — where I had a student who couldn’t find a job opening. There are always job openings.”

Smith said they have a capacity for about twelve students per eight-week session. With five sessions a year, they have a capacity for 50-60 students. On average, they graduate about 45-50 students a year from the bank teller program.

The bank teller workforce program has twice received an exemplary rating from the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board.

In prior years, the second half of Wells Fargo’s checks has been used to establish endowments at each of the six colleges for the area of greatest need, as determined by the college presidents.

To follow the college’s transformation, this year, the remaining portion of the check is being used to establish endowments within the centers of excellence in manufacturing and digital information technologies. Instead of spreading the fund to assist with the greatest need at every part of HCC, only the centers of excellence at Stafford and West Loop will benefit — in other words, the Southwest college.