To attract a younger and more diverse group, WOCCU has launched its Professional Fellows Program that will pair credit union professionals from the Dominican Republic, Guatemala and the United States.
Funded in part by a grant from the U.S. State Department's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, the program will enable 10 young professionals each from the Dominican Republic and Guatemala to interact with 20 of their counterparts from the U.S. states of Iowa and North Carolina, according to WOCCU.
The new 18-month, $386,000 program is designed to facilitate idea exchanges, promote foreign language skills and cultural diversity and improve problem-solving skills as they relate to credit union development and management on a global basis, WOCCU said. In addition, participants will focus on finding new ways to attract younger members to credit unions in participating countries.
Participants will travel to partnering countries as part of the educational exchanges, with four visits scheduled between June 2012 and January 2013. Part of the U.S. participants' experience will include a study of Hispanic cultures to more effectively serve Hispanic members back home.
In addition to WOCCU, participating organizations include the Asociación de Instituciones Rurales de Ahorro y Crédito , which represents rural credit unions in the Dominican Republic, and the Federación Nacional de Cooperativas de Ahorro y Crédito, Guatemala's national credit union trade association.
U.S. participant groups include CUNA, the North Carolina Credit Union League, the Iowa Credit Union League, and Coopera Consulting, ICUL's subsidiary focused on serving Hispanic credit union members in the U.S.
For more information on the program, click here.