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The Inclusive Economy

Where We’ve Been & Where We’re Going: Our Financial Security at Work Initiative Road Trip

By Joanna Ain on 08/22/2016 @ 02:00 PM

Tags: Economic Inclusion, Financial Capability, Financial Capability Integration

We’ve traveled all around the country this summer as part of our Financial Security at Work Initiative. Through our posts, you became acquainted with young folks who were facing a variety of hardships. We met Julia who is balancing college classes and working nights as a waitress in Portland, Oregon, spoke to Robert in Houston, Texas who can’t always afford food and utilities with his part-time job in a fast-food restaurant and chatted with Ron, who is trying to complete law school in Chicago, Illinois, despite repeated issues related to his personal finances and health. Ranging from 18- to 29-years-old, the workers we interviewed were all employed by at least one employer and had a total household income below 80% of the area median income.

From these and dozens of other interviews with young workers across the country, we are seeking answers to eight questions:

  1. What financial issues are young workers dealing with?
  2. Where do they currently go for help on financial issues?
  3. How do young workers feel about addressing financial issues at work?
  4. What financial wellness services are currently available to young workers?
  5. What financial wellness services are they currently using?
  6. What available services aren’t young workers using? Why?
  7. Which financial services would young workers like to see offered at work in the future?
  8. Are there differences in perspectives between young workers with different characteristics?

With these travel stories from the summer, we hope that we’ve whet your appetite for more! We’re looking forward to sharing our complete findings in our report, due out in early 2017. The report will delve into the above questions and will share more stories from young workers in Portland, Philadelphia, Houston and Chicago.

In the meantime, join us at CFED’s 2016 Assets Learning Conference for our session, “Working It: Creating Financial Wellness Programs That Work for Employees.” Here you will get a sneak peek of the initial findings from our Young Workers Study, as well as a study from the Center for Social Development at Washington University in St. Louis on Employer-Based Financial Wellness Programs. You will also hear from experts in the field on how we can best move financial wellness programs forward.

Thanks for traveling around the U.S. with our Financial Security at Work Initiative team this summer — we’re looking forward to seeing you this fall at the ALC!

CFED’s Financial Security at Work Initiative, sponsored by the Prudential Foundation, explores the current state of workplace-based financial wellness programs and envision how the workplace can be strengthen as a platform for financial security in the future. At CFED, we envision a world where people like Julia, Robert and Ron have the chance to transform their hard work into a strong financial future. To learn more about the project, check out:


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