Press Releases

For Immediate Release
August 30, 2017

For more information, contact
Tricia Harris, | 717.720.5447

Customers Bank President and COO Richard Ehst Pledges $100,000 to PA Chamber’s “Start the Conversation Here” Workforce Initiative

HARRISBURG - The PA Chamber Educational Foundation announced today that Customers Bank will donate $100,000 over the next five years to the PA Chamber’s innovative “Start the Conversation Here” workforce initiative. Customers Bank President and COO Richard Ehst – who also serves on the PA Chamber Board and as chair of the PA Chamber Educational Foundation – was instrumental in securing the funds for the donation.  


“Customers Bank’s steadfast support for our workforce efforts has played a pivotal role in helping us launch our scholarship program,” said PA Chamber President and CEO Gene Barr. “As a board member and chair of the PA Chamber’s Educational Foundation, Richard’s dedication and leadership have been critical in our efforts to raise awareness about the rewarding careers available in the skilled trades. This generous donation ensures that scholarships will continue to be available for Pennsylvania students for years to come.”


As part of its ongoing commitment to address the Commonwealth’s job skills gap, the PA Chamber Educational Foundation teamed up with the mikeroweWORKS Foundation this year on its Work Ethic Scholarship Program, which provides scholarships to people pursuing a career in the skilled trades. As CEO of the mikeroweWORKS Foundation, Mike Rowe speaks regularly about the country’s dysfunctional relationship with work and challenges the persistent belief that a four-year degree is the best path for the most people. The PA Chamber’s goal in contributing to the Work Ethic Scholarship Program is to help qualified Pennsylvanians get training for in-demand, skilled jobs. The PA Chamber contributed more than $77,000 to the 2017 Work Ethic Scholarship Program.


“Customers Bank is a Pennsylvania headquartered, state-chartered bank but our operations span from the eastern side of the Commonwealth through New York City to Boston,” said Ehst. “We provide billions of dollars in financing to fuel job creation and job retention.  Across our footprint, we hear a consistent call for help from our clients: ‘We can’t find a trained workforce.’  Customers Bank is pleased to partner with the PA Chamber Educational Foundation to answer the call.”


Ehst has been a member of the PA Chamber Board of Directors since 2016. More information on the PA Chamber’s workforce initiative is available online.  



The Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry Educational Foundation is a registered 501(c)(3) organization created to fund timely and insightful research and educational programs that will positively impact Pennsylvania's economic future and enhance the quality of life for all Pennsylvanians.

The Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry is the state's largest broad-based business association, with its statewide membership comprising businesses of all sizes and across all industry sectors. The PA Chamber is The Statewide Voice of BusinessTM.