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  • Writer's pictureSheryl Hanshaw

Financial Empowerment Is Workforce Development

When is the last time you felt stressed out about your personal finances? If you’re like me (and pretty much everyone), it’s not difficult to remember the last time you thought about the money you have, the stack of bills to be paid, your credit score, how to balance it all… the questions can be endless and incredibly stressful.

That stress can be felt by anyone – whether they are earning minimum wage or a six-figure salary. Personal financial management is an important part of all of our lives, and something that many people and families struggle to master.

On the surface, personal financial management is just that – personal. It might seem odd for a Chamber of Commerce, which focuses on the local business community, to host the Financial Empowerment Center in its office. It didn’t initially seem like a natural fit to me either, until I met with Dr. Yvonne Duckett last year and she told me some of the success stories from the Greenville FEC.

She told me about a large employer in the area that paid its employees fairly well but had a high rate of turnover and knew that employee vehicles were being repossessed from their company parking lot on a regular basis. The employer realized that its employees were not successfully managing their finances and were probably pretty stressed out trying to keep up. They wondered how that stress could be impacting their effectiveness and productivity when they showed up to work, and understood why it was so common for employees to be enticed away by other jobs with only slightly higher pay. They began partnering with the Greenville FEC as an added employee benefit and now see less employee turnover and a more productive workforce.

That story made it clear to me that personal financial management is also a workforce development issue. The Financial Empowerment Center’s services have been proven to improve the lives of clients – helping them become happier, healthier, and much less stressed. Improving their lives in that way helps them to be better employees at their jobs, which in turn contributes to the success of that business and the entire community.

The core of our Chamber’s mission is to contribute to the improvement of our community. I am confident that by hosting one of the Greenville FEC satellites in our office, we are providing an opportunity for the residents in our community to better their lives and for our local businesses to grow and strengthen. We want all of our local businesses to know about this resource and to encourage their employees to visit.

-Allison McGarity, President of the Simpsonville Chamber of Commerce

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