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Mayors Provide Financial Literacy Education For Workers

 

The United States Conference of Mayors DollarWise Campaign Awards:

Summer Youth Grants to - Wichita, KS; St. Louis, MO; Kokomo, IN; Chester, PA; and Richmond, CA

Innovation Grants to - San Francisco, CA; Philadelphia, PA; and Baltimore, MD

WASHINGTON , Jan. 19, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The United States Conference of Mayors (USCM) National DollarWise Campaign has awarded its annual Summer Youth Campaign (SYC) Grants for financial literacy to the cities of Wichita, KS; St. Louis, MO; Kokomo, IN; Chester, PA; and Richmond, CA . The awards were presented to the mayors at the 81st Winter Meeting of The U.S. Conference of Mayors in Washington, D.C., on January 19, 2013.

(Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20110125/MM36443LOGO )

"Having a summer job is one of the most important opportunities for our city youth," said U.S. Conference of Mayors CEO and Executive Director Tom Cochran. "Learning how to spend one's 'first paycheck' wisely, is even more important.   I congratulate these Mayors who are committed to the U.S. Conference of Mayors goal of incorporating financial education into every summer youth job," he said.

The winning cities will use their DollarWise SYC awards to integrate financial education into their local summer youth employment programs (SYEP). Through the generous support of the Bank of America Charitable Foundation, DollarWise awarded each city a $4,000 grant. These cities have unique programs that address financial education needs.   Their programs will serve as templates for other cities across the country.   

" We believe that a strong foundation to educate consumers on the benefits of savings is a critical skill for future economic success, said Kerry Sullivan, president, Bank of America Charitable Foundation.  "We are pleased to support the DollarWI$E program and the work of the USCM in improving financial literacy for residents across the U.S."

The following descriptions highlight each program and explain how the DollarWise grants will be used.

Summer Youth Campaign (SYC) Grant Recipients:

The City of Wichita's "The Way to Work" program provides paid work experience to youth four hours a day, Monday through Thursday. The program also includes a paid, four-hour workshop session every Friday. Prior to starting their jobs, youth participate in workshops on financial literacy and money management. These workshops are presented by Consumer Credit Counseling and Workforce Investment Act staff. Youth 14 and 15 years old, living in Public Housing, or with families receiving Section 8 Housing Choice Vouchers, are targeted for financial education workshops. The DollarWise SYC grant will be used to develop an enhanced financial education curriculum, obtain classroom teaching tools, and provide take home materials to reinforce the information learned. Community agencies will be encouraged to provide instructors for the youth, and match DollarWise funds to be used as incentives for youth who achieve financial literacy goals. The City's program will also use DollarWise funds to weave financial literacy lessons into each week's workshop agenda for up to 8 weeks.

The City of St. Louis' STL Youth Jobs Program is a new initiative that will create jobs for youth ages 16-23 from two high-risk neighborhoods within the City of St. Louis. This program will help lay the foundation for social, career, and academic growth for youth. The DollarWise SYC grant will help STL Youth Jobs conduct outreach to the parents of participants. The program will make a special effort to offer them information and workshops on financial literacy and training. The Mayor's Office has established a working relationship with the Financial Planning Association of Greater St. Louis, bringing no-cost advice and resources to adult jobseekers. Support from DollarWise SYC grant will be applied toward the expansion of this successful collaboration and the development of family financial planning sessions through a hands-on, data-driven approach.

The City of Kokomo's Summer Youth Employment Program will allow approximately 60 youth, ages 15-21, the opportunity to participate in a structured financial literacy program. The youth selected will work as a cohort of seasonal employees at Kokomo Beach, the City of Kokomo's municipal swimming pool. The goal of the program is to teach the participants about responsible money management. Each participant will have the opportunity to open a free savings and checking account with the City of Firsts Credit Union. The credit union has agreed to provide a financial incentive for participants to save as much money as possible during their summer jobs. These incentives include the credit union adding $10 to each participant's account for every $100 saved. Participants will be required to participate in an orientation and financial literacy session led by credit union officials. The DollarWise Summer Youth Campaign Grant will enable the program to provide more engaging financial literacy curricula by partnering with Indiana University at Kokomo's Enactus Club. Enactus is an award-winning, student-run organization with the mission of helping others understand free enterprise. Through Enactus, the City of Kokomo's SYEP will offer university student-led sessions exploring real-world, relevant financial literacy topics.

The City of Chester's EPI Program provides six-week, paid summer internship opportunities for youth ages 16 to 21. The program facilitates both hands-on work experience as well as a complementary professional development series. Working a total of 20 hours per week, interns spend 16 hours at their assigned work sites and the remaining 4 hours in interactive professional development workshops. During these weekly seminars, interns gain a thorough understanding of 21st Century Skills including: Initiative & Self-Direction, Accountability & Productivity, Flexibility & Adaptability, and Teamwork & Collaboration. The DollarWise SYC grant will be used to incorporate the skills previously taught during program lectures (maintaining credit health, balancing a budget, etc.) into an interactive assignment called "The Game of Life." With this assignment, interns will be given a set of life circumstances, including budgeting and personal finance, which will be subject to change throughout the span of their internship. At the end, interns will present their individual financial journeys, and the strategies they used, to overcome the obstacles that they encountered.

The City of Richmond's Summer Youth Employment Program will implement its 9th annual community supported summer jobs initiative. Participants have the opportunity to work up to 100 hours, at $8 per hour, in a local business, corporation, or non-profit organization. Youth are matched to an employer through various assessments used by the program to gauge ability and interest. All participants go through six mandatory, pre-employment workshops that include: an academic assessment, a career assessment, money management/financial literacy, sexual harassment, "soft" skills, and resume production. In 2012, eleven donors funded 263 placements with 44 employers at over 70 worksites. The DollarWise SYC grant will be used to implement incentive-based innovations into the current program to increase participants' savings with Mechanics Bank, one of the program's partners.   Funding will be used to offset staff costs for administering the program. Funding will also be used to create promotional material that will be distributed at the time of the workshops, as well as inserted into all participant paychecks distributed throughout the program. The remaining funds will serve as cash-match incentives for saving.

The Mayors' National DollarWise Campaign is dedicated to the idea that all Americans can benefit from increased access to financial education. As individuals become more financially literate, they are better prepared to build stable families, help themselves and their children gain education, and better contribute to their communities. The Bank of America Charitable Foundation has financially supported DollarWise since its creation in 2004.  

The DollarWise Summer Youth Campaign is an initiative that encourages mayors to use their SYEPs to deliver financial education to youth in their communities. The SYC's main goal is to incorporate a financial literacy education component into every summer youth employment program in the country by 2015. DollarWise strives to seize the window of opportunity, when youth receive their first paycheck, to instill conscientious habits and attitudes toward money and equip youth with financial-management skills. The DollarWise SYC awards grants to member cities of The U.S. Conference of Mayors that demonstrate innovative ways of incorporating a financial education curriculum into their local SYEP.

Also today, USCM's National DollarWise Campaign awarded its annual Innovation Grants for Financial Literacy to the cities of San Francisco, CA; Philadelphia, PA; and Baltimore, MD.

San Francisco, Philadelphia, and Baltimore received DollarWise Innovation Grants to expand local programs that further financial literacy education and promote responsible money management. With the financial support of the Bank of America Charitable Foundation, DollarWise awarded each city a $15,000 grant.

The following descriptions highlight the programs and explain how the funds will be used.

Innovation Grants for Financial Literacy - Award Recipients :



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