Engage youth to remain relevant
Panel provides youth financial inclusion tips.
If credit unions don’t effectively engage younger generations, they will become irrelevant, according to a panel of youth financial inclusion experts.
The panel at the CUNA Community Credit Union Conference and The Federation 2016 Annual Meeting in Dallas included:
- Margaret Libby, executive director of MyPath, an organization that promotes economic mobility among low-income youth;
- Carla Decker, president/CEO of District Government Employees Federal Credit Union, which has a youth inclusion program; and
- Louisa Quittman, director of financial security at the U.S. Treasury.
Young people often feel disenfranchised and at the periphery, says Decker, and credit unions can work to bring them into the mainstream.
Some of the takeaways from the well-attended conference breakout session included:
- Employment programs. Incorporate financial capability into youth employment programs to not only build job skills but to set kids on a good financial path for the rest of their lives.
- Early education. There is a power in starting young, reaching low-income youth at the moment they’re earning their first paycheck.
- Partners. It takes a village. Find opportunities for partnerships.
- Interest and values. When encouraging youth to save, you have to connect saving with their personal goals.
- Barriers. Custodial account requirements are one barrier to youth inclusion, especially if parents are undocumented immigrants, unbanked, unavailable, or depend on the child’s income for the family’s well-being.
- Identification. Another barrier to inclusion is the lack of identification among youth. Credit unions might need to learn to accept alternative forms of identification, like school badges.
- Accessibility. Bringing the credit union to youth can be very effective. Try onsite enrollment at youth employment program sites. Make it easy for them to enroll, so they don’t have to separately go to the credit union.