#NFMeeting Live Blog: Improving Worker Self-Sufficiency and Retention through Improved Financial Coaching

At today’s Improving Worker Self-Sufficiency and Retention through Improved Financial Coaching workshop, attendees learned about the benefits of providing workers with financial coaching opportunities.

Seung Kim, Senior Program Director at the Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) Family Income & Wealth Building Unit, facilitated a session on how their Financial Opportunity Centers work with local National Fund for Workforce Solution sites to offer career and personal finance services to low-to moderate-income people. As a result, individuals learn smart money habits and begin to focus on the financial bottom line.

LISC Financial Opportunity Centers ensure that even the highest barrier populations can achieve success and enter the workforce ecosystems developed by local workforce collaboratives. LISC and the National Fund work together toward the common goal of building prosperous communities.

Key findings from the LISC Financial Center over the past eleven years show that providing financial education to workers results in:
• Better credit behaviors, such as making on-time payments
• Better credit outcomes for certain groups
• Workers more likely to be employed year-round in the second year of study
• Workers most likely to reduce non-asset related debt

Melissa Sommers, Senior Director, Family Economic Success, at Brighton Center in Northern Kentucky noted that workers are more likely to use these services because they are comprehensive – with an “all baked in” approach to financial wellness. Services address different aspects of life that are integral to an individual’s overall success – from how to build the right financial skillset to new ways with dealing with credit.

To conclude the workshop, Mike Christensen, Director of Workforce for Hennepin County in Minnesota, shared that financial coaching helps workers feel less isolated, and therefore more confident and excited about pursuing their long-term career goals. Oftentimes, workers do not feel comfortable going to their employers with worries about financial security. Nevertheless, sharing difficulties such as struggles with paying taxes or running low on money is something they do need to talk to someone about. This is where LISC Financial Opportunity Centers come into play – they offer a level of support that many workers may not receive from family, friends or peers.