- Andrew Napolitano
Economic Empowerment Trust Fund Chaired by State Treasurer Deborah Goldberg Awarded $100,000 Grant to Launch Employee Financial Wellness Program
BOSTON -- The Economic Empowerment Trust Fund, chaired by State Treasurer Deborah Goldberg, has been awarded a $100,000 grant to establish its financial wellness programs for 156,000 state employees and retirees in Massachusetts. Funded by the Wells Fargo Foundation, this one-year grant comes at a time when many of the nearly 19 million government employees across the country continue to serve on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic. Several state and local governments are also confronting unprecedented budget shortfalls, and workers are increasingly concerned about family finances. This grant is structured as a collaboration between the Center for State and Local Government Excellence (SLGE), The International Public Management Association for Human Resources (IPMA-HR), the National Association of State Treasurers' Foundation (NASTF) and Wells Fargo. A total of 24 state and local government jurisdictions were awarded grants.
In a recent national poll conducted by SLGE, 56 percent of state and local public employees reported that their family has experienced negative financial impact due to the crisis, and more than half are worried about their family finances, losing their job, furloughs, and pay and benefit reductions. During the one-year initiative, the Office of Economic Empowerment will work with state human resource offices and the Massachusetts State Employees' Retirement System (MSERS) to host financial wellness educational experiences. "Our office has a commitment to ensuring that the people of Massachusetts have access to the skills they need to feel more confident in their financial decisions," said Treasurer Deborah Goldberg. "This grant will help us implement additional programming to address and support financial literacy initiatives throughout our state. We are grateful to the National Association of State Treasurers' Foundation, the Wells Fargo Foundation, the Center for State and Local Government Excellence, and the International Public Management Association for Human Resources for this opportunity." "By providing financial education programming to public employees and retirees across the state we are not only improving their knowledge, but also the likelihood that their findings be passed along to the people whom they serve," said Alayna Van Tassel, Deputy Treasurer and Executive Director of the Office of Economic Empowerment. "We are excited to get started on this new initiative."
"Based on previous SLGE research, we know that only 29 percent of state and local government employers offer financial literacy programs to their workforce, while 68 percent of public employees would participate in these programs if they were offered one. This grant program offers a real opportunity for state and localities like [organization] to [launch or strengthen] financial wellness programs for workers who deliver important public services," said Joshua Franzel, SLGE president and chief executive officer. "Far too many public sector employees lack access to the financial wellness programs they want and need," said Shaun Snyder, NAST and the NAST Foundation executive director. "NAST is proud to continue its commitment to financial education through this collaboration with the Massachusetts State Treasury which will strengthen financial wellness opportunities for public employees." "IPMA-HR is honored to be part of this initiative, and we look forward to seeing results from the Treasurer's Office of Economic Empowerment's planned program. We know that state and local employees with financial security are more engaged and better positioned to serve the public, making this initiative all the more vital during these unprecedented times," said Cara Woodson Welch, IPMA-HR executive director.
The Economic Empowerment Trust Fund and the Office of Economic Empowerment are led by the Massachusetts State Treasurer's Office. Their mission is to educate and provide the resources and opportunities for people of all ages to empower themselves to make informed financial decisions throughout their lives. The Economic Empowerment Trust Fund was created pursuant to Section 31 of Chapter 46 of the Acts of 2015. It represents an expansion of the missions of the Financial Literacy Trust Fund and the Commonwealth Covenant Fund, both of which were recognized as 501(c)(3) non-profit organizations. Funding for the Trust Fund comes from grant funding and charitable/private contributions. The Office of Economic Empowerment is designed to accomplish the goals of the Trust Fund. The Center for State and Local Government Excellence (SLGE) helps local and state governments become knowledgeable and competitive employers so they can attract and retain a talented and committed workforce. SLGE identifies leading practices and conducts research on public retirement plans, health and wellness benefits, workforce demographics and skill set needs, and labor force development. SLGE brings state and local leaders together with respected researchers. Access all SLGE publications and sign up for its newsletter at slge.org and follow @4GovtExcellence on Twitter.
The National Association of State Treasurers' Foundation promotes and improves the educational initiatives that enable members to pursue and administer sound financial policies and programs benefiting the citizens of the nation. NAST Foundation programs provide for the enhancement of public officials' understanding of the public financial arena and delivers education to the public about personal financial management. Founded in 2000, the charitable organization is governed by five-member board made up of State Treasurers. For more information, please visit nast.org/foundation/ The International Public Management Association for Human Resources (IPMA-HR) represents the interests of public sector human resource professionals at all levels of government. IPMA-HR provides comprehensive resources and solutions to assist public sector human resource professionals in ensuring that their organizations have the right talent to achieve their missions. The association provides a wide range of programs products and services that include research, professional development, certification, communications, public policy, and assessments. Additional information about IPMA-HR is available at www.ipma-hr.org.