The RISE Common Cents Program has seen a recent spike in requests for employee based financial literacy and education workshops and classes. Many employers have made these requests because of the financial setbacks faced by their employees caused by COVID-19 challenges and high loss of spousal income due to unemployment.
One benefit that employers are introducing into their employment packages is financial wellness seminars. RISE Memphis has received inquiries from local businesses trying to meet the demand of their workforce for ways to better manage their paychecks during these uncertain times. In past years requests would flow in from small businesses, non-profits or church organizations. The world looks much different now and this has accelerated the need to expand our programming in recent times to now include requests from hospitals, manufacturing companies, and labor unions. A desire to get ahead of a down turn in the economy has employees looking for proactive strategies and employers are meeting those demands by reaching out to proven and trusted resources.
RISE has successfully worked with over 4,000 employees over the years to help them make better financial choices through our Common Cents programming. Common Cents, is a workplace financial education program, launched in 2005 in response to broad based concern about poor credit and bankruptcy issues in the Memphis area.
Common Cents offers area employers the opportunity to give hourly workers the gift of financial literacy and in doing so increase productivity, decrease absenteeism, and create greater workforce productivity. The curriculum features topics such as banking, budgeting, and spending strategies and debt management. Memphis-based employees from over 70 companies/organizations have successfully completed the Common Cents curriculum. Your support of RISE programs like this are crucial to the betterment of communities in Memphis and the Mid-South. It produces stable neighborhoods, financially prepared citizens and less reliance on governement programs. An investment in RISE is an investment in Memphis.
The Common Cents program, is a workplace financial education program, launched in response to broad based concerns about poor credit and bankruptcy issues in the Memphis area. Common Cents offers area employers the opportunity to give hourly workers the gift of financial literacy and in doing so increase productivity, decrease absenteeism and create greater workforce productivity. The curriculum features topics such as banking, budgeting and spending strategies and debt management. More than 4,000 Memphis-based employees from 50 companies/organizations have successfully completed the curriculum.
For the next three months RISE will partner with Heubel Shaw Material Handling Company to help their employees become financially fit and financially stable in their lives. RISE will assist them by offering intensive financial literacy and education classes. These Common Cents participants will also be linked with community resources to help them build better financial habits.
Through the RISE Common Cents program, a series of in-person and virtual workshops will cover prudent financial budgeting and spending plan adaptations. For many clients, this will be their first time taking a deep dive into a critical analysis of their finances. Collaborating with the RISE Foundation was the perfect fit for Heubel Shaw because Common Cents is designed to meet people where they currently are in their financial struggle.
This is exactly why Heubel Shaw reached out to RISE both as a supporter of the organization and promoter of its programming. Heubel Shaw President, Mr. Cella knows first hand about offering a hand up and not a hand out. After realizing the mantras of his parents instilling the benefits of financial planning and goal setting, he worked tirelessly to support his own family through self-determination. He eventually created a successful business because he maintained the desire to achieve entrepreneurship, guided by a developed and focused spending plan and budget.
Please consider making a contribution to the RISE Foundation today and help bring the gift of financial literacy to more companies and their employees, large and small throughout Memphis and Shelby County.
The RISE Foundation is constantly working to assist residents in Memphis with resources to help them overcome financial strife. This work has led to various media coverage over the last year to let families, businesses and organizations know where they can turn to when they need sound advice on finances for themselves, their employees, or their clients. In an interview with Fox 13 reporter Siobhan Riley, RISE shares how the Common Cents program is here to help and why employers are listening.
RISE Common Cents participant, Ms. Todd was very honest about the challenges she was facing. “It’s pretty hard to budget," she said. "It’s pretty hard to save because someone is always needing something - either gas, food, clothes, pampers.” Ms. Todd who is a single mother of three said she felt the effects of COVID-19 when her hours were cut as a medical assistant. Her job advocated for its employees to put some preventive measures in place as everyone navigated through the pandemic. They called on the RISE Foundation and their Common Cents program to help. Ms. Todd enrolled in the RISE Common Cents program a year ago. The company she works for encourages employees to participate. The goal of Common Cents is to work closely with local businesses aiming to take the burden off their employees hit miserably by financial hardships. In the interview with Fox 13, RISE Senior Program Coordinator explains that the first key step is honestly acknowledging exactly how much money you’re working with. “Writing down all your expenses, just writing it out and from there you can find out what to do with your money, tell your money where it should go and not get so caught up in consumerism,” said Rod Lomax, Senior Program Coordinator with the Common Cents Program.
The program is showing Ms. Todd firsthand what she is spending her money on. “Mostly that’s for food because when I get off late, instead of me going home and fixing something, preparing something, I go and grab food from the fast-food restaurants, it’s teaching me why and how to save,” she said. Common Cents participants view the program as an extra employee benefit through their jobs and employers view the program as not only a winning solution for them but for all the families who depend on the stability of those employed there. Consider supporting the Common Cents program today, your choice absolutely makes a difference in the lives of others.
For the next three months RISE will partner with Shelby County Government through its Judicare referral program for adult males referred through the Shelby County Recovery Courts. Judicare offers its clients a second chance at getting stability and direction in their lives. RISE will offer intensive financial literacy and education classes. These participants are working hard to overcome setbacks that have occurred in their lives due to drug and alcohol dependency. This program will reconnect families and link them with resources to help them build better financial habits.
Through the RISE Common Cents program, a series of workshops will cover prudent financial budgeting and spending plan creation. For many clients, this will be the first time taking a deep dive into a critical analysis of their finances. Collaborating with the RISE Foundation was the perfect fit for the Judicare program because Common Cents is designed to meet people where they currently are in their financial struggle.
Common Cents is uniquely effective by providing participants with valuable information that enables them to better manage their financial resources and make better financial choices in an environment that is nurturing, peer-guided and inclusive. Judicare participants will discuss creating/maintaining a spending plan and managing credit. They will be introduced to techniques that better utilize credit wisely and re-build and sustain their credit history.
Memphis is proud of the work that programs like Judicare is doing to overcome poverty in our communities. With the help of more partnerships like Shelby County Government, the RISE Foundation will be able to introduce more families to the principles of utilizing a spending plan and designing budgets that work through the tough times smarter.
Cities in America are slowly recovering from the pandemic and for some like Memphis, old problems such as poverty are new again. RISE has received a program grant from the Assisi Foundation of Memphis to help make improvements to the Common Cents service structure. The award comes with access to a consultant and the opportunity to expand to additional markets. This much needed lift in capacity building for the Common Cents program would allow RISE to offer our services in more businesses and commercial settings that can reach many more hourly wage workers who have been hit harder than most because of the shelter in place mandates.
The Common Cents program, is a workplace financial education program, launched in response to broad based concerns about poor credit and bankruptcy issues in the Memphis area. Common Cents offers area employers the opportunity to give hourly workers the gift of financial literacy and in doing so increase productivity, decrease absenteeism and create greater workforce productivity. The curriculum features topics such as banking, budgeting and spending strategies and debt management. More than 4,000 Memphis-based employees from 50 companies/organizations have successfully completed the curriculum. RISE now operates the Greater Memphis Financial Empowerment Center (GMFEC) in Shelby County (created by the Shelby County Trustee’s Office and the City of Memphis) through a match grant from Cities for Financial Empowerment (CFE). RISE is the official provider of service (one-on-one financial counseling) for the center. GMFEC opened in April 2019 and focuses on the following critical financial issues: Debt reduction, improved credit scores, and increased savings of citizens in our community. RISE believes that without financial literacy skills, financially vulnerable individuals in our community will never be able to accumulate family assets and more importantly, will never enjoy the freedom and security of having improved life choices. For many wage earner families, the inability to make good financial choices is less a failure of will and more a failure of circumstance.
Accumulated research conducted by the Responsible Lending Collaborative, concluded the poor do indeed pay more. From auto insurance to banking services to groceries, lower income families have only high-cost options conveniently available. In order to get ahead lower income families must learn how to consistently shave quarters from their limited income and turn them into assets. An investment in RISE continues to be an investment in the future of Shelby County. We have proven that it pays dividends to give people the tools they need to become and remain self-sufficient rather than pay for social services that only treat the symptoms. RISE data documents that the cycle of generational poverty can be broken. We all win in terms of decreased crime, increased productivity, lower healthcare costs and more engaged citizens.
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