EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — With a shortage of banking professionals in West Texas and Southern New Mexico, the University of Texas at El Paso is hoping to train the next generation of bankers with its new program.
UTEP is launching its banking academy partnering up with local banks and credit unions. Founding partners of the Banking Academy include El Paso-based WestStar, which contributed $1 million. UTEP said other banks that made significant contributions include GECU, Bank of America, Texas Bankers Association, Sunflower Bank, International Bank of Commerce and Commerce Bank, Wells Fargo and JPMorgan Chase & Co.
“There’s a shortage of professionals for the banking industry generally, but there’s a particular shortage of Hispanic bankers, it’s only about 11 percent of banking professionals nationwide are Hispanic,” said UTEP President Heather Wilson.
UTEP said the university is 94 percent minority, which will help bring more Hispanics into the banking industry. Bank professionals think the shortage of bankers is due to how most students think about banking.
“Typically there’s a shortage of Hispanics and women in the financial services industry because it’s it’s typically male, white male-dominated,” said Kristi Marcum from Bank of America.
And they think UTEP’s banking academy can help change that.
“Many of them think of banking as Wall Street banks, but we have a very vibrant banking community serving the Borderplex region, and we want to make sure they understand those opportunities are right here in El Paso,” said Rick Francis, chair and CEO of Weststar.
The aim of the program is to educate the next generation of Hispanic bankers and have them stay to work in our area.
“I’d love to see more people interested in the industry, I’d love to see the UTEP graduates finding jobs that are fulfilling to them, and they’ll stay in the area,” said Marcum.
The university has yet to announce when classes for the program will start.