Idaho: Two New Coalitions With Two New Goals

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The Idaho CU League has established a Financial Literacy Coalition and a Hispanic Coalition in order to meet the needs of immigrants in the state.

Valerie Brooks, the league's regulatory and governmental affairs specialist, said Idaho is one of eight western states participating in the U.S. Treasury's First Account grant program designed to help serve the underserved.

"Each state's credit union league does its own thing," she said. "In Idaho, we decided to begin the process with the Hispanic community. We hope to then broaden the scope to the Native American community, because both communities are important."

The Idaho CU League has partnered with the Idaho Migrant Council-a non-profit group that assists migrant workers- as well as the Idaho Hispanic Financial Literacy Coalition. Brooks described the latter as a group of financial institutions and community-based agencies, including a staff member from the office of Idaho Sen. Michael Crapo.

According to Brooks, the league recently hired a person to conduct financial education classes, which will be sponsored and hosted by individual CUs in different cities around the state. "We also will help credit unions on outreach. We will help them bring people in and serve them," she said.

The league is promoting the Money Smarts program, an FDIC product promoted by the NCUA. "It is a bilingual, module-based program that is not condescending, but doesn't assume you know everything," said Brooks. "It starts with the basics and progresses from there."

Topics covered by the Money Smarts program include the basics of good financial practices.

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