October 3, 2022

Lara Cooper

Two-day event helped thousands of Chicagoans access financial resources and tools, connect with job opportunities

CHICAGO – This past weekend, Chicago City Treasurer Melissa Conyears-Ervin and BMO Financial Group hosted the “Building Wealth Today for Tomorrow Financial Empowerment Weekend” at the UIC Forum. The event combined the Treasurer’s two signature events – the Building Wealth Today for Tomorrow Financial Empowerment Summit and the Financial Services Career Fair. Over 1,500 Chicagoland residents took the opportunity to gain insights into the current financial trends, build relationships to obtain job opportunities within the financial services industry, join workshops on saving money, buying a home or starting a business, and access much more.

“I am thrilled that so many Chicagoans came out this weekend to learn how they can get themselves and their families on a path to financial freedom at our Building Wealth Today for Tomorrow Financial Empowerment Weekend,” said Chicago City Treasurer Melissa Conyears-Ervin. “We are so grateful to our partner BMO and all of our sponsors and participants who helped us provide a space for residents to access the tools they need to build brighter financial futures and address the racial wealth gap. I hope our attendees found this weekend truly empowering, and I’m already looking forward to next year’s event!”

Structural inequities and income disparities over time have led to a racial wealth gap that not only remains, but is getting worse, particularly in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. A 2022 study found that Black Americans had one-sixth the wealth of white Americans on average, while a study from 2021 found that for every dollar a typical white household has, a Black household has 12 cents and a Latino household has 21 cents.

“We were so excited to partner with the Treasurer and her office to bring real financial progress to Chicago residents and families,” said Eric Smith, Vice Chair, BMO Financial Group. “Partnerships like these are at the core of our Purpose to Boldly Grow the Good in business and life and exemplify our commitment to build a thriving economy, sustainable future, and inclusive society throughout the communities we serve.”

On Friday, September 30, the Financial Services Career Fair provided an opportunity for diverse candidates from across the city to find career opportunities in the financial services industry and beyond. Participants had the chance to engage with more than 50 participating employers on-site including BMO, Wintrust, CIBC, JP Morgan Chase, and more. The event featured career readiness workshops, resume reviews, chats with career coaches, mock interviews, complimentary professional headshots, and other resources.

On Saturday, October 1, the Financial Empowerment Summit featured free information for Chicagoans on topics related to financial planning and credit building, keys to homeownership, money management and access to capital, real estate, and so much more. The day had keynote speakers Daymond John of ABC’s “Shark Tank,” Bill Rancic, the first “The Apprentice” winner, hip-hop mogul MC Lyte, and many more.


About the Treasurer’s Office

The City Treasurer’s Office is the custodian and manager of all cash and investments for the City of Chicago, the four City employee pension funds, and the Chicago Teacher’s Pension Fund. Additionally, the Treasurer’s Office manages a number of programs that promote financial education and small business growth in Chicago’s neighborhoods. The Treasurer is one of three city-wide elected officials in the City of Chicago, with the Mayor and the Clerk being the others. In May 2019, Melissa Conyears-Ervin made history when she was sworn in as City Treasurer for the City of Chicago, the first African-American woman ever to hold the position without prior appointment. As City Treasurer, she is committed to using a positive, results-oriented approach with city departments. She works to restore the public’s trust in government–good government–that works for the people and applies an equity lens to all of the office’s programs and outreach. 

About BMO Financial Group

Serving customers for 200 years and counting, BMO is a highly diversified financial services provider – the 8th largest bank, by assets, in North America. With total assets of $1.07 trillion as of July 31, 2022, and a team of diverse and highly engaged employees, BMO provides a broad range of personal and commercial banking, wealth management and investment banking products and services to more than 12 million customers and conducts business through three operating groups: Personal and Commercial Banking, BMO Wealth Management and BMO Capital Markets.