(November 27, 2007 – New York, NY) The National Federation of Community Development Credit Unions (Federation) and the National Credit Union Foundation (NCUF) have announced the first four partnerships in the Credit Union Development Corps, an exchange program between Credit Union Development Educators (CUDEs, or DEs) and the Federation’s network of community development credit unions (CDCUs).
In this new program, participating DEs will visit a CDCU for one week to learn first-hand how it effectively serves its low-income members. Subsequently, a representative from the CDCU will then spend one week at the DE’s institution learning about that credit union’s programs and operations. During each exchange, the visiting representatives aim to use their expertise to help their hosts, while at the same time learning about each credit union’s operational strengths.
The first credit union pairings in this program are (DE Credit Union; CDCU):
Selfreliance FCU (Chicago, IL) with Vernon-Commerce CU (Commerce, CA);
Philadelphia FCU (Philadelphia, PA) with Lower East Side Peoples FCU (New York, NY);
AEA FCU (Yuma, AZ) with Triumph Baptist FCU (Philadelphia, PA);
Washington State Employees CU (Olympia, WA) with NRS Community Development FCU (Birmingham, AL).
Tom Decker, National Director for the Credit Union Center for Social Impact Management at NCUF, explains, “We are very excited to partner with the Federation on this creative and compelling new program that promotes and embodies the spirit of service, while enhancing an understanding and appreciation of credit unions of all sizes and what makes each unique.”
The Lower East Side Peoples FCU, for example, applied to the program looking for assistance in learning more about mortgage secondary markets and Small Business Administration loans in order to provide additional services to spur economic security and growth in the communities they serve. Program organizers hope that pairing Claire Ippoliti, CUDE, Vice President of Lending at Philadelphia FCU, with the Lower East Side Peoples FCU, will provide New York City’s largest CDCU with the requested expertise during their exchange.
Dora Turula, CUDE, Marketing and Public Relations consultant at Selfreliance FCU, is looking forward to visiting Vernon-Commerce CU and learning more about the CDCU’s work. According to Ms. Turula, “CDCUs are an essential part of the credit union system, providing assistance to those who would otherwise have no access to financial services, and much of that expertise will be applicable for serving people of modest means at our own credit union.”
“We hope that the CU Development Corps will create strong bonds between participants as well as their institutions -- partnerships that will bring together large and small CUs, foster the cooperative spirit, and create a stronger and more unified credit union movement,” explained Federation President/CEO Cliff Rosenthal.
Major support for this program has been provided by the Ford Foundation and by CUNA Mutual Group.
The first exchanges will begin in early 2008 and are expected to be completed by the end of the year. The program is managed by Pamela Owens, CUDE and Director of Education and Training for the Federation (firstname.lastname@example.org), and by Tom Decker, National Director for the Credit Union Center for Social Impact Management (email@example.com).
© 2007 National Federation of Community Development Credit Unions.