Mayors Provide Financial Literacy Education For Workers

           Mayors Provide Financial Literacy Education For Workers

PR Newswire

WASHINGTON, Jan. 19, 2013

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.

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"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

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

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

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

Innovation Grants for Financial Literacy - Award Recipients:

The City of San Francisco's Office of Financial Empowerment has offered
financial services to 1,900 bay area residents through the San Francisco
Financial Planning Day. It has also conducted over 150 financial education
workshops with partner organizations reaching over 2,300 San Francisco
residents. The DollarWise Innovation Grant will go towards the development of
a toolkit that will illustrate best practices, learning, and the challenges
associated with implementing financial education workshops and counseling that
target four main demographics: domestic violence survivors, residents of
affordable housing, adults with disabilities, and older adults. The program
will refine this approach and expand services to community-based

The City of Philadelphia has been a national leader in foreclosure prevention,
saving over 5,000 homes through its Residential Mortgage Foreclosure Diversion
program. In order to prepare homeowners recovering from the crisis of
foreclosure for long-term financial success, Philadelphia has established a
comprehensive financial education effort called Tools for Financial Growth
(TFFG). TFFG is a free service that helps homeowners develop better financial
planning habits. The DollarWise Innovation Grant will be used to support the
additional costs associated with the improvement of the Tools for Financial
Growth program. It will also provide funding needed for site expansion and
will help to support a larger number of program participants. A portion of the
funds will also help pay for an independent professional evaluation of TFFG,
in order to help improve the program.

The City of Baltimore has established a strong, ongoing campaign that weaves
financial literacy education into the City's YouthWorks summer jobs program.
Each year, YouthWorks places approximately 5,000 young people ages 14-21 in
six-week summer work experiences at more than 400 worksites throughout
Baltimore. The DollarWise Innovation Grant will be used to support the salary
of a coordinator who will oversee YouthWorks' financial literacy component,
remain responsible for ensuring that all program participants receive
financial literacy training, and support the promotion and implementation of
the program's mission. The grant will bolster existing financial literacy
efforts to help youth manage their summer earnings wisely through
participation in an online financial literacy contest.

The Mayors' National DollarWise Innovation Grants Program awards grants to
member cities of The U.S. Conference of Mayors that demonstrate innovative,
ongoing financial literacy programs for their citizens. The Bank of America
Charitable Foundation has generously supported the operations of DollarWise
since its inception. The DollarWise Campaign and the Innovation Grants Program
grew out of a desire from members of The Conference of Mayors' Council on
Metro Economies and the New American City (CNAC) to help citizens learn more
about financial issues and to empower them to become investors in their
communities, especially through homeownership. CNAC is a coalition of
nonprofit groups, corporations, and businesses that share the common goal of
increasing investment in American cities.

About The United States Conference of Mayors
The U.S. Conference of Mayors is the official nonpartisan organization of
cities with populations of 30,000 or more. There are 1,295 such cities in the
country today, and each city is represented in the Conference by its chief
elected official, the mayor. Like us on Facebook at, or
follow us on Twitter at

About the Mayors' National DollarWise Campaign
The Mayors' National DollarWise Campaign is the official financial literacy
and education outreach effort of The United States Conference of Mayors and
its Council on Metro Economies and the New American City. Since 2004, hundreds
of cities have participated in the DollarWise Campaign. DollarWise encourages
mayors and city staff to address the growing need for financial literacy in
our nation's cities. To assist cities in their efforts, the Mayors' National
DollarWise Campaign works to build partnerships with national organizations,
including federal agencies, nonprofit groups, and corporations that offer
technical support, curricula, and financial support. While DollarWise is an
ongoing, year-round effort, events such as DollarWise Month help communities
and the media focus their attention on financial literacy. The Campaign also
sponsors the DollarWise Innovation Grants Program and the Summer Youth
Campaign Program, which offers cities the opportunity to win funding to
enhance and expand creative and innovative financial-literacy efforts. The
founding sponsor of the DollarWise Campaign is the Bank of America
Foundation. For more information on the Mayors' National DollarWise Campaign,
please contact James Kirby at 202.861.6759 or, or visit

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SOURCE The U.S. Conference of Mayors

Contact: Lina Garcia (USCM), +1-202-341-6113,, James
Kirby (USCM/DollarWise), +1-202-861-6759,
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