M&T Bank (MTB) in Buffalo, N.Y., is launching a pilot program that aims to curb mortgage defaults by helping struggling homeowners find jobs.

The $83 billion-asset M&T plans to introduce borrowers who have fallen behind on their mortgage payments to the Homeowner Reemployment Program offered by Oregon firm NextJob. M&T is the second financial institution in the United States to partner with NextJob, joining Fifth Third Bancorp (FITB) in Cincinnati.

The program comes at no cost to borrowers, according to M&T's Thursday press release. NextJob coaches will help participants identify transferable skills, develop job-search strategies, prepare for interviews and brush up their resumes and cover letters.

Initial results of the NextJob program appear promising, according to the release. Fifth Third customers who enrolled in the employment program had been out of work roughly 22 months. Almost 40% found full-time employment within six months of completing the training.

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