MentorWorks Partners with Blue Ridge Bank to Launch a Community Apprenticeship Program Designed to Build Workforce Development for Underserved and Low-Income Communities

This paid apprenticeship program at a national bank gives experiential learning opportunities for low income and underserved communities in Virginia.

MentorWorks Education Capital, Inc. (MentorWorks) announced a novel apprenticeship program in partnership with Blue Ridge Bank, N.A., (the “Bank”), the national bank subsidiary of Blue Ridge Bankshares, Inc. (NYSE American: BRBS). This program will offer hands-on learning opportunities for individuals from low-income and underserved backgrounds in Virginia. This will be a first of its kind paid apprenticeship opportunity aiming to reduce the wealth gap and create social equity while giving banks the ability to receive Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) benefits.

Candidates will get the opportunity to build their resume and industry-applicable skill sets under the direction of committed advocates for workforce development programs. MentorWorks provides access to education and careers pathways in IT, Cybersecurity, Data Analytics, Customer Service, Sales, among others.

“We are proud of this program which is designed to support low income and underserved individuals to get access to experiential learning opportunities from a great employer like Blue Ridge Bank.” said the CEO of MentorWorks, Karthik Krishnan, “This program is the first of its kind, designed to enhance workforce development to those traditionally left out of the equation, support income equality, and create social equity. This is also a great opportunity for employers, including the bank and its business partners, that are seeking access to diverse and skilled talent.”

“It makes all the difference to an individual from an underserved background to have such an opportunity. Such individuals lack easy access to social capital – this includes all the advice, career support, and networks to jobs and internships that individuals from well-off families naturally possess,” Krishnan continued. “BRB is a true leader in the financing space, and now is showing its leadership in the community development and workforce development space. This initial program will start with the bank’s own talent needs and will subsequently be offered to business partners of the bank. Banks are the center for commerce in their community, and given this position, it makes sense that they can also become a repository for talent for the local business community.”

“During this unprecedented time, recruiting has become more challenging than ever,” said Steve Farbstein, Chief Revenue and Development Officer of Blue Ridge Bank. “We are proud to partner with MentorWorks on this apprenticeship program and are hopeful to not only provide these workers with opportunities to engage in comprehensive training and upskilling but also to develop strong talent pipelines for the future.”


About Blue Ridge Bank, N.A.

Blue Ridge Bank, N.A., is the wholly-owned banking subsidiary of Blue Ridge Bankshares, Inc. Through its subsidiaries and affiliates, Blue Ridge Bank provides a wide range of financial services including retail and commercial banking, payroll, insurance, card payments, wholesale and retail mortgage lending, and government-guaranteed lending. Visit to learn more.

Blue Ridge Bank, N.A. Media Contact: Michelle Simon, Director of Corporate Communications & PR, Blue Ridge Bank. N.A.

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About MentorWorks Education Capital, Inc.

MentorWorks Education Capital, Inc. (MentorWorks) funds and supports low income and underserved students to get an education and access pathways to careers. MentorWorks Income Share Agreement (ISA) programs, which enable college and non-traditional students to complete their education without incurring up-front tuition costs. ISAs are alternatives to traditional fixed installment loans with which approved students will have their tuition paid and once employed, will make payments calculated to a fixed percentage of their income, for a set period of time, up to a maximum cap, without accruing interest. Uniquely, MentorWorks also provides career development support, mentoring and access to employers through their online and asynchronous Talent Accelerator Platform (TAP).

MentorWorks is a Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI), certified by the U.S. Department of the Treasury. MentorWorks is the only institution offering an ISA program that has the CDFI designation. MentorWorks ISAs are issued by Blue Ridge Bank, N.A.

To learn more about MentorWorks Education Capital visit: or reach out to Micha Sabovik, COO, at

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