HarborOne Bank Announces Landmark Programs As Part of New Diversity, Equality and Opportunity Strategy

January 28, 2021

BROCKTON – January 28, 2021 – HarborOne Bank today announced the launch of three different programs targeted to support individuals from historically disadvantaged populations in the City of Brockton. The diversity, equity and opportunity strategy begins with the “Building Brockton” mortgage program, as well as the “HarborOne Early College” Program, a partnership with Massasoit Community College and Brockton High School. Finally, HarborOne announced a new internship program designed for high school and college students to gain valuable employment skills and explore careers in the banking industry.

“The American Dream should be attainable for each one of us – no one should be shut out. These programs will make it easier to reach that dream,” said James Blake, CEO of HarborOne Bank. “We want more families to stay in Brockton and be invested in Brockton – and our Building Brockton program will do just that. At the same time our community is best served when our children get a good education, and the Early College Program will help high school students from historically disadvantaged populations overcome obstacles and reduce the cost of pursuing a college degree.”

The final component of the bank’s overall strategy is our “Brockton Internship” program, which will complement the student’s education at Brockton High School, by providing meaningful job experience and structured trainings as well as mentorship from a dedicated group of HarborOne employees. The aim of the program is to expose students to the banking industry and other business related careers in an effort to help inform their class selections, preferred work environment and potential career paths.

Building Brockton
HarborOne’s Building Brockton mortgage program will provide home buyers purchasing in Brockton a 25 basis point discount on their mortgage rate on an owner occupied one, two, and three-family units, while also reducing the credit score to work with individuals to be in a position to buy a home. HarborOne will commit up to $20 million in residential home sales through this program. HarborOne has partnered with the MassHousing Workforce Advantage loan program and will either offer from HarborOne’s program a reduction in rate or if they select the MassHousing program they’ll receive a $2,500 credit towards closing costs as part of the homebuying purchase.

Many individuals and families looking to buy a home have good credit and sufficient income, but lack the upfront funds to cover closing costs and down payment. This program is available to first-time home buyers for purchases of one or two-family homes in the City of Brockton and receive from MassHousing an opportunity for up to a $25,000 in down payment assistance in the form of a no-interest loan that is paid back when the property is sold or refinanced in the future.

“The best way to grow and improve our community is for residents to be invested in that community, and the best community investment is a home,” said Blake.

Reduction of College Costs
To help provide enhanced economic and social opportunities for Brockton students, HarborOne is partnering with Massasoit Community College and Brockton High School (BHS) to establish the HarborOne Early College Program. Early college programs like this one combine the traditional high school experience with the chance for students to earn transferable college credit. This program will not only better prepare those students, but to help them jumpstart their college careers.

“Many first generation student and students from historically disadvantaged populations have the desire to attend college but find themselves worrying about the ability to afford it and managing the rigor of a college curriculum,” said Joseph Casey, HarborOne Bank President and COO. “This program provides a risk-free head start to provide motivated students a pathway for college success.”

Approximately twenty-four BHS students per year over the next four years will have the opportunity to experience college coursework by taking classes with Massasoit Community College faculty at Brockton High School during their junior and senior year. The students not only get to learn the expectations and demands of college work, they receive credits that could add up to a full semester of college which can reduce college costs and be applied towards degree attainment at Massasoit or neighboring Bridgewater State University as well as other Massachusetts higher educational institutions.

Bridgewater State University has been a tremendous partner of Brockton High School and Massasoit, and will play an important role in HarborOne’s collaborative effort to assist BHS students. Bridgewater’s willingness to provide dual admission to Massasoit-accepted students as well as scholarships for targeted majors such as K-12 Education creates additional pathways for Brockton students to complete a successful post-secondary journey.

To further strengthen the success of the program, HarborOne will provide support for a small pool of scholarship dollars to help make sure that students in the program have the funds they need for tuition costs, books, transportation and other expenses that sometimes can be the difference between staying in college or dropping out.

The program also provides access to supportive and wraparound services like financial education and life skills workshops as part of the goal to offer academic and vocational pathways to completion of degrees and certificates.

“Early College programs help students get to college ready to succeed, and by completing credits before they finish high school, the cost of college becomes much more affordable,” said Dr. Gena Glickman, President, Massasoit Community College. “Research is clear on the benefit of Early College programs – we know that early college students enroll in postsecondary education at a much higher rate than students from traditional high schools. We also know that students of color who attend early college high schools are nearly ten times more likely to obtain a college degree than students of color who don’t.”

“The brightest future for Brockton and other Gateway Cities comes through increased home ownership and an educated workforce,” said Maureen “Mo” Wilkinson, Vice President of Community Education at HarborOne. “Our goal with these programs and others that we’re working on is to turn those bright futures from dream to reality.”

About HarborOne Bank

HarborOne Bank, headquartered in Massachusetts, serves the financial needs of consumers, businesses, and municipalities throughout Massachusetts and Rhode Island through a network of 30 full-service banking centers and commercial loan offices.

The Bank also provides a range of educational resources through “HarborOne U,” with free digital content, webinars, and recordings for small business and personal financial education. HarborOne Mortgage, LLC, a subsidiary of HarborOne Bank, provides mortgage lending services throughout New England and other states.