Apr 24, 2020
by Ed Lamb
WASHINGTON, D.C., APRIL 23, 2020 — In an effort to improve financial wellness programs for the state and local workforce, a new initiative will provide financial resources, create tools and case studies, and facilitate conversations among state and local leaders. The effort comes as state and local government employees face increased financial challenges in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic and resulting economic crisis. Even before the crisis, state and local governments were looking for ways to tackle the dual challenges of workforce financial literacy and public employee recruitment and retention.
Funded by the Wells Fargo Foundation, the initiative is structured as a collaboration between the Center for State & Local Government Excellence (SLGE), the International Public Management Association for Human Resources (IPMA-HR) and the National Association of State Treasurers Foundation (NASTF).
Building on recent financial wellness and literacy projects, the partners will collaborate on the following efforts over the next 18 months:
- Selecting state and local governments for competitive grants that will seed new financial wellness programs for their public workers.
- Developing research and briefing materials to help state and local governments establish their own financial literacy programs.
- Creating a case study learning center and materials that detail the varied approaches taken with state and local governments’ past or potential financial wellness programs for employees and residents.
- Hosting conversations and meetings at NASTF and IPMA-HR conferences to bring together public leaders and experts to discuss how financial wellness programs can be implemented by state and local governments.
Additional details on the grants process and other programs will be announced soon.
“As COVID-19 continues to disrupt our society, municipal employees are on the front lines, keeping our cities and towns running. And even more important is the critical role they will play in our country’s economic recovery,” said Darlene Goins, head of financial health philanthropy at Wells Fargo. “It’s more important than ever for government employees and their families to have access to financial wellness tools and resources that will help them navigate financial challenges now or in the future, reduce debt, save for retirement, or reach other financial goals.”
“Recent Center for State and Local Government Excellence research found that 26 percent of local government employers offer financial literacy programs to their workforce, while 65 percent of public employees want access to these programs at work. We look forward to working with IPMA-HR and NAST, with the support of the Wells Fargo Foundation, in closing this gap. Implementing this initiative with our partners will make a positive contribution for the benefit of state and local workers and employers,” said Joshua Franzel, SLGE president and chief executive officer.
“During these unprecedented times, we look forward to working with IPMA-HR and SLGE, with the support of the Wells Fargo Foundation, to offer the necessary tools and resources to reach public state and local employees. State treasurers are keenly aware of the impact of sound fiscal practices, whether for the state house or their own houses and their staff. Having a variety of tools to shore up personal finances is more important than ever right now and will help everyone as we weather this crisis,” said Shaun Snyder, executive director of NAST and the NAST Foundation.
“We are pleased be part of a program aimed at strengthening financial wellness programs for the public workforce. These programs are the right thing to do for employees while also helping public employers. Financial wellness programs result in more productive and engaged workers, improved morale, lower absenteeism, lower stress and lower health care costs. We know that employees who are in control of their finances are less distracted and can better focus on their jobs, which is crucial for delivering vital public services like public safety, health care and education,” said Neil Reichenberg, IPMA-HR executive director.
Read the recent SLGE research report, Financial Literacy Programs for Local Government Employees, sponsored by the Wells Fargo Foundation here.
The Center for State and Local Government Excellence (SLGE) helps local and state governments become knowledgeable and competitive employers so they can attract and retain a talented and committed workforce. SLGE identifies leading practices and conducts research on public retirement plans, health and wellness benefits, workforce demographics and skill set needs, and labor force development. SLGE brings state and local leaders together with respected researchers. Access all SLGE publications and sign up for its newsletter at slge.org and follow @4GovtExcellence on Twitter.
Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE: WFC) is a diversified, community-based financial services company with $1.9 trillion in assets. Wells Fargo’s vision is to satisfy customers’ financial needs and help them succeed financially. Founded in 1852 and headquartered in San Francisco, Wells Fargo provides banking, investment and mortgage products and services, as well as consumer and commercial finance, through 7,950 locations, 13,000 ATMs, the internet (wellsfargo.com) and mobile banking, and has offices in 37 countries and territories to support customers who conduct business in the global economy. With approximately 262,000 team members, Wells Fargo serves one in three households in the United States. Wells Fargo & Company was ranked No. 26 on Fortune’s 2018 rankings of America’s largest corporations. News, insights and perspectives from Wells Fargo are also available at Wells Fargo Stories.
The National Association of State Treasurers Foundation promotes and improves the educational initiatives that enable members to pursue and administer sound financial policies and programs benefiting the citizens of the nation. NASTF programs provide for the enhancement of public officials’ understanding of the public financial arena and delivers education to the public about personal financial management. Founded in 2000, the charitable organization is governed by five-member board made up of state treasurers. For more information, please visit nast.org/foundation/.
The International Public Management Association for Human Resources (IPMA-HR) represents the interests of public sector human resource professionals at all levels of government. IPMA-HR provides comprehensive resources and solutions to assist public sector human resource professionals in ensuring that their organizations have the right talent to achieve their missions. The Association provides a wide range of programs products and services that include research, professional development, certification, communications, public policy and assessments. Additional information about IPMA-HR is available at ipma-hr.org.
Kelly Kenneally, Center for State and Local Government Excellence | 202.256.1445 | firstname.lastname@example.org