Money

Access CU promotes financial literacy

Emily Stobbe-Wiebe

Access Credit Union is partnering with Vancity Credit Union to bring Southern Manitoba the Each One, Teach One financial literacy workshop initiative. The workshops are open to all members of the community, not only Access members.

Each One, Teach One was started by Vancity Credit Union in 2008 and works to train employees in delivering free, no obligation, and no product sales pitch workshops to members of their community.

President and CEO of Access Credit Union, Larry Davey, explained that the program is very versatile, catering to 17 different topic areas, anywhere from 60 to 90 minutes in length, and tailored by group size, demographic, age, and knowledge level. The program will even come directly to those interested in the workshop.

“They can choose the topic, they can choose the location, they can choose the time,” said Davey.

Workshop topics range from basic banking, budgeting, taxes, debt, retirement savings, and homeownership to senior’s financial abuse prevention.

Davey says there is something for everyone.

“You might find a group from church that wants to, there might be a senior’s group that wants to look into it, there might be young adults that are thinking about buying homes or how to best think about long term retirement,” he said.

Davey says this program is important to do now because people are not given the financial education that they need to be successful in the world we live in through formalized schooling.

“I think there has always been this anticipation that people would just learn about money,” he said. “I think that we are finding that that isn’t necessarily true.”

The expectation that people should know about money clashes with the reality that money is a significant grey area for many people and often causes a lot of stress. “We are really trying to assist not only our members but nonmembers also in the community who may be feeling stressed through certain types of financial transactions,” Davey said.

The approachable nature of the Access CU promotes financial literacy workshops helps put people at ease about financial discussions.

“It’s a very casual atmosphere. It is very open for questions,” said Davey. “I think it will just take a couple of groups trying it...and they will see how comfortable they are.”

Before Access partnered with the Each One, Teach One, they didn’t have a financial literacy program.

“We did various [workshops] that we would do for the school if they were asking but [Each One, Teach One] is more a formalized program with segmented topics and workbooks available and fully trained trainers on those topics,” said Davey. “They’re not only knowledge experts on the topics but they’re trained in how to bring that message to people.”

It is the people of the community that Access is making their top priority, a care value of the company being community support.

“I think the program will really assist the communities, and more importantly it will help people through those life-changing events that normally revolve around finances,” said Davey. “We just see this [program] giving them the knowledge and the tools to make easier and better financial decisions.”

Access currently has two full-time trainers and hopes to have around eight by the fall servicing all Access service communities.

If you are interested in arranging a workshop, email financialliteracy@accesscu.ca.

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ewiebe@postmedia.com