October 31, 2023
Learning While Earning: The Regions Foundation announces $25,000 Memphis Medical District Collaborative grant

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (Oct. 31, 2023) – The Regions Foundation and the Memphis Medical District Collaborative today announced a new community partnership dedicated to strengthening training, education and employment connections. The $25,000 grant awarded by the Regions Foundation, a nonprofit initiative primarily funded by Regions Bank, will specifically support MMDC’s Hire Local program. The Alabama-based Regions Foundation consistently invests in workforce development initiatives, as well as economic and community development and financial wellness initiatives.

Since 2018, the Hire Local program has proven instrumental in the lives of Memphis Medical District residents by offering a training and education pipeline for hundreds across several disciplines. Through its partnership with participating hospitals and local workforce providers, MMDC connects people in the District to training programs to help them obtain the qualifications needed to seek employment opportunities, offers resume and interview assistance, and provides referrals to available jobs in the area. Hire Local also fosters those connections from the employer side.

Memphis is brimming with talent, cultivating this talent through career-aligned training and education is essential for the success of our community. Rory Thomas, MMDC President

“Hire Local serves as a conduit between people looking for rewarding careers and employers looking for their next qualified hire,” said Marta Self, executive director of the Regions Foundation. “By connecting the two, this program is elevating the skill sets and confidence of participants while filling the pipeline of in-demand jobs. The Regions Foundation is proud to support this work because when more people earn a livable wage, more people can take part in the success and growth of Memphis and the Mid-South.”

Hire Local’s support doesn’t end when residents accept an employment offer. Residents continue to receive support services and additional training through their early career milestones allowing them to learn as they earn. This strengthens the lives of Memphis residents and fills open positions at major hospitals in the area.

“Memphis is brimming with talent, cultivating this talent through career-aligned training and education is essential for the success of our community. With the help of our partners, we are able to continue upskilling Memphians for in-demand careers close to home,” Rory Thomas, MMDC President said. “The Regions Foundation’s investment in our participants will pay dividends into the future as their lives and their families change for a better, brighter, future.”

For many, that investment means an employment offer from Methodist University Hospital. In the graduating cohort, 18 of the 23 students participating in the cohort have been offered positions by the hospital.

Two people walking in the corridor of the medical building

“Methodist Le Bonheur is honored to play a role in helping our community members find jobs in the same neighborhood they call home,” said Dexter McKinney, director, talent planning and strategies at Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare. “For more than 100 years, we’ve lived our mission of improving every life we touch and that is only possible through the selfless and dedicated staff members who devote every day to our patients.”

Hire Local’s partners include Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare, Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital, Baptist Health Sciences University, FedEx, Southwest Tennessee Community College, Memphis Shelby County Schools (MSCS), Career Academy, Whole Child Strategies, City of Memphis and many more.

“The growing number of employers in the program shows how Hire Local is moving the economic needle – not just in the Medical District, but throughout Memphis,” said David May, Commercial Banking leader for Regions Bank’s Mid-America territory and market executive in Memphis. “We’re grateful to our colleagues at the Regions Foundation for their investment in MMDC’s work to advance valuable workforce training and create lasting career connections.”

Group of students in the auditorium

About Regions Foundation
Regions Foundation supports community investments that positively impact the communities served by Regions Bank. The Foundation engages in a grantmaking program focused on priorities including economic and community development; education and workforce readiness; and financial wellness. The Foundation is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) corporation funded primarily through contributions from Regions Bank.

About Memphis Medical District Collaborative
The Memphis Medical District Collaborative (MMDC) is a community development organization working with anchor institutions to strengthen the connections, communities, and campuses in the Memphis Medical District so they are more vibrant, prosperous, and equitable. Learn more at

About Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare
Based in Memphis, Tennessee, Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare has been caring for patients and families regardless of their ability to pay for more than 100 years. Guided by roots in the United Methodist Church and founded in 1918 to help meet the growing need for quality healthcare in the greater Memphis area, MLH has grown from one hospital into a comprehensive healthcare system with 13,000 Associates supporting six hospitals, including nationally ranked Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital, ambulatory surgery centers, outpatient facilities, a hospice residence and physician and specialty practices serving communities across the Mid-South. From transplants and advanced heart procedures to expert neurology services and compassionate cancer care, Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare offers clinical expertise with a focus on improving every life we touch.

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