Fifth Third Bancorp and NextJob, a nationwide reemployment solutions company, have joined forces to offer an industry-first program that gives unemployed mortgage borrowers job search assistance, including one-on-one dedicated coaching, weekly webinars and online job search software. The program is fully funded by Fifth Third Bank.
The two companies began a pilot for the program during 2012 with unemployed Fifth Third customers who, the bank says, were “in serious risk of default on their mortgages.” On average, the participating customers had been out of work for 22 months, but during the pilot, nearly 40 percent were fully employed after six months. The results led to the pilot’s expansion.
“Up to half of mortgage delinquencies are due to job loss,” Steven Alonso, executive vice president and head of the Consumer Bank, Fifth Third Bancorp, said. “With NextJob, we immediately recognized an opportunity to go the extra mile to assist our customers. This is specific, one-on-one training that helps people identify their transferable skills and re-gain the financial stability of a new job.”
NextJob’s service features three parts that work to help borrowers find employment: one-on-one job coaching, job search software (featuring nine modules), and Job Talk, weekly webinars on job search topics. Combined, the features help Fifth Third borrowers:
- Create attention-grabbing and effective resumes and cover letters
- Develop and carry out a detailed job search action plan
- Career direction evaluations and skills identification that could transfer to another industry or field
- Discover unadvertised, but open jobs
- Use the latest and most effective Internet tools and techniques
- Train and prepare for successful interviews
“Fifth Third Bank has demonstrated an inspiring level of customer commitment,” John Courtney, CEO of NextJob, said. “The company understood that neither party benefits from a foreclosure. Job loss, followed by the loss of one’s home, is severely damaging to individuals and families. This program is a simple, but big idea and its time has come for the banking industry.”