Vermont credit unions appear to be taking the national lead this fall in fostering heightened credit counseling services for members under a year-long project spearheaded by the state league, which is financing free in-person and online training for key employees.
The program, under auspices of the Social Responsibility Committee of the Association of Vermont Credit Unions is slated to hold a premier training session for Vermont CU employees Oct. 6 in West Lebanon, N.H.
Under "the Vermont Certified Credit Union Financial Counselor Program, every AVCU member credit union will have the opportunity to have a CUNA certified financial counselor on their staff by June 30, 2010 at no cost to the credit union," explained Joe Bergeron, president/CEO of AVCU who described the league effort as "unique" among CU trades.
So far, 18 Vermont CUs have registered one full time employee for the program "with many electing to place additional staffers into the program at their own expense in order to take full advantage of this unique training opportunity," said Bergeron.
AVCU said it has hired a top credit counseling executive from Wisconsin, Ken King, a 10-year trustee of the National Foundation for Credit Counseling, to lead the New Hampshire session. King is also executive director of the Consumer Credit Counseling Service and Family Service Association of Sheboygan.