A program through which people with disabilities work as credit union interns promises to help more CUs better serve disabled members.
So far, in the pilot cycle, The Building Economic Strength Together program has placed five interns with disabilities in four credit unions in New Jersey. Organizers said that eventually they expect to expand the program to 20 interns spread out among more credit unions.
BEST came about through the collaborative efforts of the National Federation of Community Development Credit Unions, the Kessler Foundation, the National Credit Union Foundation's REAL Solutions Program, Allies Inc., a New Jersey based training group for people with disabilities, the New Jersey Credit Union League, and the National Disability Institute.
"The BEST program is a fantastic opportunity for the participating credit unions to explore and develop strategies to better serve people with disabilities," said Lois Kitsch, REAL Solutions Program Director. "The promising outcome is to be able to replicate the BEST program and the best practices that result from it so that credit unions throughout the country can tap into this emerging market."