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NEW YORK – In a sharp reversal from some dire predictions earlier this year, community development credit unions will have the help of at least 55 federally reimbursed volunteers from the Americorps VISTA program in 2004, according to the National Federation of Community Development Credit Unions. The 55 will be volunteers that the Federation will help place and are only available to Federation members. CDCUs may also obtain the help of VISTA volunteers on their own, although the process can be challenging. The Americorps program had been mired in controversy earlier in the year and the Federation was worried that no volunteers would be available this year. Over the last decade, the Federation has placed 210 VISTA volunteers in 80 CDCUs around the country, the Federation said. Saguache County CU, a $10 million state chartered credit union headquartered in Moffett, Colorado has used VISTA volunteers to help achieve its fiscal and programmatic goals. “The VISTA program has single-handedly allowed us to expand our resources,” said Richard Wertz, CEO of Saguache County CU.

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