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Oregon Credit Unions Contribute to Real-World Education with New Financial Literacy Legislation

Written by Christian F. Hanson on Apr. 24th, 2023
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The legislation incorporates financial and life skills into high school programs, equipping young individuals with essential knowledge for their future.

Tigard, Oregon (February 16, 2023) The GoWest Credit Union Association, in collaboration with Oregon Senate President Rob Wagner and Senate Republican Leader Tim Knopp, has introduced a pioneering life skills legislation, Senate Bill 3. This bill intends to incorporate a future planning credit into the state’s high school curriculum, enabling students to apply vital financial empowerment standards to their upcoming endeavors.

In 2022, Oregon’s credit unions offered complimentary financial education to 17,000 children and 25,285 adults. Financial education has consistently been a fundamental aspect of credit unions’ services, aiming to support members in achieving more prosperous financial futures.

“Our kids are our future, and it is our responsibility to ensure they have the financial literacy skills that lead them to economic security,” stated Oregon Senate President Rob Wagner.

“We have an obligation to empower our community to thrive,” said Senate Republican Leader Tim Knopp. “Ensuring our kids have the future planning skills and financial literacy to succeed once they become adults is a critical step in financial wellness and supports the economy’s overall health.”

Essential life skills encompassed in the bill’s future planning course initiative consist of guidance on:

  • Applying for jobs, crafting a resume, completing job applications, and honing job interview techniques.
  • Applying for admission to post-secondary educational institutions, including seeking financial aid and scholarships.
  • Implementing financial literacy standards, such as filing income tax returns, devising a budget, interpreting bank and credit card statements, and planning for retirement.
  • Enhancing career-related skills, including refining employability skills, leveraging community-based experiential learning, and exploring career opportunities.
  • Seeking support, including utilizing community resources and advocating for oneself in terms of mental, physical, and financial well-being.

Pam Leavitt, Vice President of Regional Grassroots and Political Programs/Legislative Affairs at GoWest Credit Union Association, said, “When our credit union partners in Oregon came to us with their list of legislative priorities for the year, it was not surprising that financial education rose to the top,” said Pam Leavitt, Vice President of Regional Grassroots and Political Programs/Legislative Affairs, GoWest Credit Union Association.

“The essence of the credit union movement is financial literacy. You can see their commitment through action. Collectively, Oregon Credit Unions provided free financial education to 17,000 children”

Currently, 15 states guarantee that high school students will participate in at least one personal finance course. “e are confident that this bill will become law and Oregon will be the 16th state” added Leavitt.

Senate President Rob Wagner (D-Lake Oswego) and Senate Republican Leader Tim Knopp (R-Bend) introduced this model legislation with bipartisan backing.

Christian F. Hanson

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