DUBUQUE, Iowa (1/30/15)--Dupaco Community CU is part of a new alliance that helps potentially at-risk Dubuque-area high school students create sustainable careers.
|Dupaco CU's participation in the Housing Education and Rehabilitation Training (HEART) Program will help provide local young adults with skilled labor positions. (Dupaco CU Photo)|
The partnership brings together the $1.26 billion-asset, Dubuque, Iowa-based credit union, the Housing Education and Rehabilitation Training (HEART) Program and the Dupaco R.W. Hoefer Foundation.
The effort includes hands-on learning, financial education and savings goals, certificate programs and advanced degrees. The program also is intended to address the local economy's growing shortage of skilled workers.
Through hands-on revitalization projects, the program teaches valuable trade skills to juniors and seniors who may be at-risk of dropping out of high school.
Through the alliance--called HEART Bridge--Dupaco Community CU and the Dupaco R.W. Hoefer Foundation annually contribute staff expertise and more than $10,000 in direct matching contributions and operational support.
Through the enhanced HEART Bridge program, Dupaco Community CU opens a savings account and provides financial coaching required by the program to help ensure the participant's goals are met. Students earn a stipend as they learn valuable trade skills during housing and community revitalization projects.
Dave Klavitter, Dupaco CU senior vice president of marketing and public relations, said the program will serve several aspects that appeal to the credit union's mission of improving members' financial lives.
"It provides young people with a path toward a sustainable career by teaching them these trade skills," Klavitter told News Now. "It employs Dupaco's expertise in teaching people how to manage money and make it last. Also, the program will also revitalize housing in an area that was home to a lot of Dupaco's original members."
The Dupaco R.W. Hoefer Foundation will match the savings amount once the goal is attained. Participants can use their savings and matched funds toward certificate programs, degree programs, career equipment or tools.
The matching funds represent an investment in local young people, but also the community, Klavitter said. "Our community has low unemployment, so we're facing a looming skilled worker shortage. This has a double effect of helping address that as well. We want to keep our young people here."
To help students build skills, the Four Mounds Foundation and its partners--Dubuque Community School District, the City of Dubuque and Four Oaks of Iowa, Inc.--created its HEART Program in 2003 to revitalize blighted neighborhoods and community buildings in Dubuque. The program empowers its participants to take part in community revitalization projects while also working on becoming better leaders and developing viable career paths.