Graduates of a recent Caminos Finance Program session display their certificates of completion.

Jobs program places graduates in credit unions

Wisconsin governor’s office honors initiative that trains Latino workers.

July 21, 2021

A job-building program that trains Latino candidates for employment in Madison, Wis.-area credit unions received the Wisconsin Governor’s Financial Literacy Award.

Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers recognized Centro Hispano of Dane County for its Caminos Finance Program, which addresses the wealth gap and underrepresentation of Latinos in the finance field.

The program creates a finance training pathway where participants gain the skills to start meaningful careers and foster upward mobility.

Four Madison-area credit unions are offering career opportunities for graduates of the program: Dane County Credit Union, Heartland Credit Union, UW Credit Union, and Summit Credit Union.

“This program bridges the gap between the talent in the Latino community and the needs of employers in Dane County,” says Norma Gallego Valles, workforce and career pathways manager at Centro Hispano of Dane County. “That simple connection enriches our community as a whole.”

Jane Olson

‘Diversity is our strength.’

Jane Olson

Additional partners include Credit Union National Association and Madison College

Scott Lopez, CUNA’s vice president of human resources and organizational development, is a Centro Hispano board member.

Lopez helped develop the program as part of his National Credit Union Foundation Development Educator Training. The program features teller training, computer classes, financial education, and professional development.

Financial well-being for all

Personal finance also is a component of the program. Participants enroll in a three-credit personal finance course Madison College offers.

Students gain financial skills that can help them individually and provide guidance for their families.

Jane Olson, bilingual contact center manager at Summit Credit Union, says the program has helped her organization strengthen its workforce.

“At Summit Credit Union, we believe diversity is our strength,” she says. “Having new ideas and colleagues from different backgrounds makes us who we are.”