BY CORINNE KALSKY
Serving their community is a mission credit unions take seriously year round. In honor of the holiday season, “Credit Union BUSINESS” showcases two of the CUs that have taken the “people helping people” mantra especially to heart and put their community-minded values into action.
The holiday season is often a time for reflection, giving thanks and giving back. Credit unions, with their cooperative mission of “people helping people,” have a special relationship with the communities they serve. In this space, we usually discuss best practices in credit union business lending and the challenges that executives face in achieving sustainable growth and reaching new markets. But this month we’ll take a step back and share a few examples of how credit unions support the people, organizations and unique needs of their communities.
Preparing the Members of the Future
Corning Credit Union (CCU) has a mission to improve financial literacy in the markets it serves. To this end, CCU has opened two student-run branches in its New York market that serve the actual banking needs of students, faculty and staff on campus. The program offers high school students the opportunity to develop the skills of responsibility, professionalism and teamwork in an authentic “real-world” branch environment.
CCU also facilitates numerous financial educational presentations throughout the region. In 2015, the credit union devoted 192 hours to conducting 124 educational sessions and programs in the community. Through these programs, the CU directly reached 3,917 students across 13 school districts in its New York market.
“These presentations range from teaching budgeting to high school students through a simulation called Mad City Money, to sharing our insurance expertise with drivers’ education classes,” says Kim Depew, marketing supervisor at CCU. “We’re not there to sell; we’re there to educate.”
CCU’s financial education initiatives don’t end with students. The credit union also hosts an annual home buying seminar each April.