The Federation has launched an innovative pilot program for 2013 to cultivate future leaders of the credit union movement. The program, Cooperative Finance Leaders for America (CFLA) will recruit, train and support fifteen new and emerging professionals to be placed in leadership positions in credit unions dedicated to providing credit and safe banking services to low- and moderate-income communities. Participating credit unions will gain a new source of talented, diverse staff, drawn from among recent college graduates, graduate students, returning veterans, and displaced financial workers. Through a six-month paid fellowship, these new leaders will put their skills and passion for cooperative finance to work within credit unions. The CFLA program begins in August 2013 with the training both in-person and online for the fellows. The fellowships begin in September and continue through February 2014.
Credit unions are engines of economic development in our nation’s low- and moderate-income communities. As part of the world’s largest and most successful cooperative movement, credit unions have benefitted from generations of strong leaders. But today, there is a need for a new wave of leadership in the credit union movement and renewed interest in economic justice issues in recent years represents an enormous opportunity. CFLA will enable credit unions to gain access to a new pool of talented staff who share the values of the movement.
Most professional development programs focus on current employees, but CFLA is different. CFLA recruits and develop new leaders who bring energy, strong skills and fresh perspectives into credit unions. The CFLA intensive training program includes a two-week summer institute and on-going support throughout the six-month fellowship. CFLA alumni also receive long-term support, in keeping with the goal that they will become the next generation of credit union CEOs and thought leaders.