NEWS

City of West Columbia, Town of Springdale get grant for financial wellness programs

The City of West Columbia, with the Town of Springdale, has been awarded a $20,000 grant to establish a financial wellness program for the over 250 combined member workforce. More specifically, the funding will be used for classes, training, materials, and videos all of which will be utilized by the City of West Columbia and the Town of Springdale employees. The program will provide financial education such as custom workshops, one on one sessions, online resources, financial wellness videos, and support materials.

Funded by the Wells Fargo Foundation, this one-year grant comes at a time when many of the nearly 19 million state and local government employees across the U.S. continue to serve on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic. This grant is structured as a collaboration between the Center For State and Local Government Excellence (SLGE), the International Public Management Association For Human Resources (IPMA-HR), the National Association of State Treasurers’ Foundation (NASTF), and Wells Fargo. A total of 24 state and local government jurisdictions were awarded grants.

In a recent national poll conducted by SLGE, 56 percent of state and local public employees reported that their family has been negatively impacted financially by the crisis. During the one-year initiative, the City of West Columbia and the Town of Springdale will provide services for every employee, no matter the stage in life, to create a sense of financial peace and security. The goal is also for employees, as well as family members, to have a solid knowledge of financial skills, such as savings, investments, and how to properly pay off debt. By hosting online classes, group classes, and one on one sessions, each person can feel comfortable and gain valuable insight.

City of West Columbia Mayor Tem Miles stated, “We are honored to be one of 24 recipients in the nation to receive this fully federally funded grant. Our dedicated staff can always benefit from financial planning tools and education in all stages of their careers. This added tool will help them now and in their futures.“

“In today’s world, a lot of young people are not equipped with day to day financial skills, as they are not being passed down. If we can help educate our employees and make their future brighter, it is something we all want to be a part of. Whatever the Town can do to further our employees’ future, we want to carry throughout their lives,” said Town of Springdale Mayor Michael Bishop.

“Based on previous SLGE research, we know that only 29 percent of state and local government employers offer financial literacy programs to their workforce, while 68 percent of public employees would participate in these programs if they were offered one. This grant program offers a real opportunity for state and localities like the City of West Columbia and Town of Springdale to launch financial wellness programs for workers who deliver important public services,” said Joshua Franzel, SLGE president, and chief executive officer.

“Far too many public sector employees lack access to the financial wellness programs they want and need,” said Shaun Snyder, NAST and the NAST Foundation executive director. “NAST is proud to continue its commitment to financial education through this collaboration with the City of West Columbia and the Town of Springdale, which will strengthen financial wellness opportunities for public employees.”

“IPMA-HR is honored to be part of this initiative, and we look forward to seeing results from the City of West Columbia and Town of Springdale’s planned program. We know that state and local employees with financial security are more engaged and better positioned to serve the public, making this initiative all the more vital during these unprecedented times,” said Cara Woodson Welch, IPMA-HR executive director.

The Center for State and Local Government Excellence (SLGE) helps local and state governments become knowledgeable and competitive employers so they can attract and retain a talented and committed workforce. SLGE identifies leading practices and researches public retirement plans, health and wellness benefits, workforce demographics and skill set needs, and labor force development. SLGE brings state and local leaders together with respected researchers. Access all SLGE publications and sign up for its newsletter at slge.org and follow @4GovtExcellence on Twitter.

The National Association of State Treasurers’ Foundation promotes and improves the educational initiatives that enable members to pursue and administer sound financial policies and programs benefiting the citizens of the nation. NAST Foundation programs provide for the enhancement of public officials’ understanding of the public financial arena and deliver education to the public about personal financial management. Founded in 2000, the charitable organization is governed by a five-member board made up of State Treasurers. For more information, please visit nast.org/foundation/

The International Public Management Association for Human Resources (IPMA-HR) represents the interests of public sector human resource professionals at all levels of government. IPMA-HR provides comprehensive resources and solutions to assist public sector human resource professionals in ensuring that their organizations have the right talent to achieve their missions. The association provides a wide range of programs products and services that include research, professional development, certification, communications, public policy, and assessments. Additional information about IPMA-HR is available at www.ipma-hr.org