Credit Unions Provide Thousands of Fulfilling Family Wage Jobs in the Northwest
From driving impact to leading change, three Northwest credit union professionals share what they value most in their roles.
Credit unions are guided by their founding philosophy of “People Helping People.” It defines the spirit of the service, dedication, and care they provide their members at every interaction, making credit unions a popular place to work.
A study by the economists at ECONorthwest found that credit unions in Idaho, Oregon, and Washington provided more than 18,700 family wage jobs 2018. In addition, economists estimate that every credit union job supported one-and-a-half additional jobs in the Northwest economy (a jobs multiplier of 2.5), bringing that number to 46,800 jobs region wide.
Credit union wages in the region hit nearly $1.4 billion in 2018, with $158 million in Idaho, $366 million in Oregon, and $874 million in Washington.
And while everyone likes a to have a job that supports their family, it’s equally important to have one that brings personal and professional fulfillment. For Andrea Parrish, her credit union job does just that.
Parrish, the Digital Marketing Assistant Manager at Washington-based STCU, said just knowing she is part of the member-owned structure and value of credit unions is rewarding, but she also finds fulfillment from creating positive impacts on members.
“I find it particularly rewarding to be in a place that creates support structures for my team and the credit union that really enable great member service,” said Parrish. “I’m also learning a lot from helping a great team excel in its role.”
Parrish experienced money challenges and was in a difficult situation when she moved to the area in 2006. Her employer at the time worked with STCU to aid in her financial recovery.
“That started me down the very long path of clawing my way out of the financial hole I was in, and STCU was with me every step of the way,” Parrish said. “When I was asked to apply for a role with STCU, I jumped at the chance. Credit unions had saved my financial life, and frankly, I wanted to do what I could to help further the mission of credit unions to pay it forward.”
Like Parrish, Christopher Bradberry, President and CEO of Fibre Federal Credit Union, finds the responsibilities of his role rewarding. He identified “… having the ability to lead a high caliber of employees and having an impact at an organization so deeply rooted in the community,” as particularly rewarding.
His desire to make a positive impact began when he served as branch manager for a select employee group or SEG, in the insurance industry earlier in his career. The experience made him realize he wanted to become a CEO of a community-based credit union. He transitioned to his current role at the Washington-based Fibre Federal two years ago.
“Our driving mission has always been to focus on the members,” said Bradberry. “I am dedicated to continuing this mission and “being there” for the financial life cycle of members, in good times and bad.”
As Chief Human Resources Officer at Oregon’s Unitus Community Credit Union, Gayle Evans works to ensure employees have a positive experience—and she finds value in the process.
“I find it very rewarding to foster a workplace culture that echoes the principle of the credit union movement—inclusion, cooperation, and service,” said Evans.
She also credits the Credit Union Movement for allowing her to nurture a brighter future for others in the credit union industry and her community.
“I have had the opportunity to volunteer at the local and state level to help improve community health, mentor emerging leaders, and promote higher education for first generation students,” Evans stated.
Credit unions offers a wide variety of career opportunities. Visit your Association’s Career Center regularly for updated job postings, and visit us on LinkedIn for news on professional development opportunities. NWCUA members may also post their jobs here.