Kitsap County Credit Unions to Encore Community Financial Education Offerings

When Peninsula, Kitsap and Connection Credit Unions teamed to offer their members information and strategies to deal with the pending federal sequestration impacts, they had no idea what kind of response they would receive. Over 250 people showed for the event and it was clear a community need had been identified.

“It was too big for us to take on alone,” said Scott Prior, CEO of Connection Credit Union. “But as a credit union community we knew we could do what credit unions do best—collaborate for the betterment of our members.”

Now the three credit unions are working again with over two dozen community partners for a day-long financial information event set for June 19 at the Kitsap Conference Center in Bremerton, Wash. Titled “Money Matters—Making it Stretch”, the event will host workshops throughout the day on various topics aimed to help community members weather the financial impacts facing the area.

“Kitsap County is home to about 16,000 Department of Defense (DOD) civilian employees and they are really feeling the financial impact of the current cutbacks, furloughs and reductions in overtime,” said Cathy Brorson, outreach coordinator at Kitsap Credit Union.

Brorson points out that many of these employees worked a large number of overtime hours and built that wage rate into their monthly budgets. “Now that overtime has been all but eliminated by DOD, these individuals and families are really feeling the pinch,” Brorson noted.

The event will feature information exhibits from numerous community partners such as the Kitsap Housing Authority, Kitsap County Food Bank Coalition, Kitsap Mental Health, Fleet and Family Resources, and nonprofit credit counseling services. The credit unions will sponsor a series of four classes that will run throughout the day allowing any participants the ability to access all of them in a single day. The classes will focus on managing family budgets during the downturn along with lending options to avoid more serious consequences down the road. Each class is slated to run approximately forty-five minutes. The credit unions have been offering classes the past two months but this event will give people the opportunity to gather the entire basket of resources in a single setting.

“We believe this highlights the credit union philosophy of serving our members and community,” said Jim Morrell, president and CEO of Peninsula Federal Credit Union.

The Northwest Credit Union Foundation tendered a grant to the credit unions in support of the event and a large turnout is anticipated.

“As a percentage of the population, fifty plus of families in the community are either directly or indirectly affected by the DOD reductions,” said Prior. ‘The trickle down effect to local businesses amplifies the problem. We knew we needed to be proactive in addressing this situation and not deal with it after the fact,” he said.

The Event runs from 11:00am to 7:00pm June 19 at Kitsap Conference Center Harborside, 100 Washington Street, Bremerton, WA 98337.

 

Questions? Contact Lynn Heider: 503.350.2225, lheider@nwcua.org.

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