The New Jersey Credit Union league recently sponsored a luncheon highlighting an effort to bring credit union services to more disabled people.
The Building Economic Strength Together program links people with disabilities up with different credit unions through internships. The internships help participating CUs learn more about reaching out to communities of disabled people which are widely underserved and help dispel myths about hiring disabled people as employees.
BEST is a shared program from the National Federation of Community Development Credit Unions, the National Disability Institute and Allies Inc., a New Jersey based training group for people with disabilities.
The New Jersey Credit Union League has adopted the program as part of its REAL Solutions commitment.
"One of the core missions of the credit union movement is to provide low-cost, high-quality financial services to underserved communities, and unfortunately, many among the disability community are highly underserved.," said New Jersey Credit Union League CEO Paul Gentile. "This program not only helps those from the disability community gain valuable on-the-job experience by interning at credit unions, but it also helps credit unions understand how to better serve this important segment of our population," he added.
Currently Best is in its second phase and has placed seven interns at five New Jersey federal credit unions including McGraw Hill, Healthcare Employees, First Financial, New Community and Novartis. The interns have been filling positions in human resources marketing, and accounting as well as tellers and member service representatives.