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The Inclusive Economy

These Organizations are Working to Connect Job Seekers to the Financial Tools They Need to Succeed

By Santiago Sueiro on 12/14/2015 @ 03:00 PM

Tags: Financial Capability, Integrating Financial Capability, Assets & Opportunity Initiative

We know that a job alone is not enough to put individuals on the path to financial security. But without a stable, good-paying job, it’s virtually impossible for most people to become financially secure. That is why this month, CFED launched its first-ever fellowship to promote the integration of financial capability services into the workforce development field. Through the Bank of America Platforms for Prosperity Integration Fellowship, CFED will provide one-on-one technical assistance and facilitate learning opportunities to support six senior workforce development leaders from across the county in advancing financial capability services within their organizations.

Central to this fellowship is the concept of financial capability integration: the ability to effectively manage one’s financial resources. It means having the knowledge, skills and access to financial tools to navigate the complexities of our economic and financial systems. Few people seek out financial capability services—like financial coaching and credit counseling—until they’re facing a crisis. But integrating these financially capability services into other existing social services—like health care, housing or, yes, workforce development—has been shown to increase participants’ likelihood of success.

The leaders selected to participate in this fellowship will be designing and implementing a financial capability integration strategy focused on their organization’s existing workforce development programs through an assessment of their clients’ needs and their organization’s capacity. CFED will help the fellows uncover these needs and identify services to address them through technical assistance and learning opportunities.

We are excited to introduce the fellows selected to engage in this integration planning process:

  • Hopeworks: Dan Rhoton, Executive Director (Camden, NJ)

Hopeworks has an innovative program model that teaches homeless and vulnerable youth how to code and build websites while offering individual psychological and emotional support. Hopeworks expressed a desire to integrate FAFSA education and credit education courses into their workforce development component.

  • DC Central Kitchen: Andy Finke, Chief Operating Officer (Washington, DC)

Founded in DC in 1989, DC Central Kitchen has long history of providing unique workforce development programming. DC Central Kitchen will focus integration efforts on their Culinary Job Training Program, which teaches culinary workplace skills to homeless and formerly incarcerated individuals through intensive training and access to internships in local restaurants. They seek to improve their knowledge of financial capability services while integrating relevant services into their program.

  • YWCA Seattle: Matt King, Director of Employment and Regional Services (Seattle, WA)

Born from a commitment to empower women and advance social justice, the YWCA has a rich history and wide array of workforce development programs. YWCA Seattle will focus their integration efforts on the employment component of their Rapid Rehousing Program. They seek to improve their financial education programming and affix additional financial capability services.

  • Goodwill Sacramento: Robynne Rose-Haymer, Workforce Development Director (Sacramento, CA)

Goodwill Sacramento was established in 1933. Offering services to thousands of people across are large geographic area, the organization is an important presence in the greater Sacramento community. Goodwill Sacramento will focus their integration efforts on their job training programs, adjusting financial capability services to cater to individual needs and looking for ways to scale these services to reach their large client base.

  • Foothills Family Resources in partnership with UWGC: David Bolton, Executive Director of Foothill Family Resources (Slater, SC)

Foothills Family Resources is a small organization with a unique program model that offers professional development training and financial coaching to low-income individuals in a region that has suffered from the loss of textile industry jobs. United Way of Greeneville County is supporting David Bolton in his efforts to integrate financial coaching, financial education and other financial capability services.

  • The Center for Working Families: Jasmine Miller, Chief Operating Officer (Atlanta, GA)

The Center for Working Families places a large emphasis on workforce development and asset building. They offer wrap-around services to low-income individuals on the south side of Atlanta. The Center for Working Families seeks to learn from other organizations about best practices for financial capability service integration.

Over the next 10 months, we will share updates on members and their progress.

CFED is grateful for Bank of America and their support throughout the fellowship.

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