MONTICELLO, Ky. – The $15 million Appalachian Federal Credit Union has opened a new branch which will serve low income residents of some of the poorest parts of the economically distressed Appalachian region. AFCU President, Marcus Bordelon explained, “the expansion will bring the credit union’s financial and development services to many in Clinton, McCreary and Wayne counties, all of which are classified as “Hot Zones” (areas of special need) by the Treasury Department’s Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) Fund.” Bordelon also stressed, “The new branch is an important opportunity for the credit union to diversify its membership. While 95% of our region is predominantly Caucasian, there is a significant and growing Latino population that we hope to bring into the fold.” Along with credit union services such as commercial, business, housing, and consumer lending; technical assistance, entrepreneurial training, and business planning; consumer budgeting, financial and homeownership counseling; AFCU also hopes to start an Individual Development Account (IDA) program and to promote and expand their Youth Credit Union Program in the new communities. “Appalachian Federal Credit Union is one of the outstanding rural community development credit unions in the country,” commented Cliff Rosenthal Executive Director of the National Federation of Community Development Credit Unions. “They are real pace-setters with an innovative structure. No credit union demonstrates the benefits of partnership better than AFCU.” In addition to Rosenthal, Wendell Lyons, President, Kentucky Credit Union League; Ruth Jaure, Director of Program Development for the National Credit Union Foundation; John Hilchick, HUD Louisville Area Office; Jerry Rickett, President of Kentucky Highlands Investment Corporation attended the branch’s grand opening. -

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