Neighborhood conversations spark our interest because they help us understand how our communities are faring. We work on local boards, volunteer at non-profits and engage businesses to discover areas where our Company can help.
We take a holistic approach to community development. 5-3 Impact is an initiative that drives engagement with community stakeholders so that our efforts are more strategic, comprehensive, creative and impactful. 5-3 Impact helps our Company avoid singular actions—the making of one loan or the offering of an isolated grant—in order to fully leverage our resources and unite them with others for the betterment of a community.
5-3 Impact is working in North Carolina, where in 2012 and 2013, the Fifth Third Community Development Corporation (CDC) made a $21.5 million tax credit investment in Renaissance West in Charlotte. Renaissance West is a development with 184 low-income senior and multi-family housing units. When finished, it will feature an early childhood development center, K-8 charter school and a community center.
With the 5-3 Impact approach, we are utilizing the expertise of our local Community & Economic Development manager, who is a board member of the Renaissance Investment Community Initiative, which is spearheading the revitalization. Fifth Third is coordinating outreach to new and surrounding residents and hosting education seminars and homeownership events. Future support will include sponsorship of a computer lab in the new community center, Young Bankers Club in the charter school and educational workshops for businesses in the West Boulevard Business Corridor.
We also invest directly in people. Through our Empowering Community Leaders program, we awarded 18 full scholarships to non-profit leaders in 2013 to attend industry-leading conferences. The conferences included the Cleveland Fed’s Policy Summit; the Association for Enterprise Opportunity’s Power of Microenterprise Conference; and the Underbanked Financial Services Forum.
We also enabled other non-profit leaders to attend state housing conferences and other events, including the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce’s Annual Conference. Fifth Third understands the value of these industry forums and is committed to connecting our community partners with these opportunities, especially those with limited means.