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CU System
Article notes CUs efforts to learn Spanish
BATTLE CREEK, Mich. (6/5/09)--The Battle Creek Enquirer recently noted United Educational CU’s efforts to teach its employees Spanish. The Battle Creek, Mich.-based credit union is hoping to break down language barriers for consumers who speak Spanish as their primary language. Many Spanish-speaking residents in Battle Creek are unbanked. Instead, they use predatory lenders for their finances, the credit union told the newspaper (June 4). The credit union wants to reach out to those consumers, so they are offering their employees an eight-week language course. Because the first contact many Spanish-speaking members encounter at the credit union is a teller, United Educational member service representatives have been trained to say, “Wait, I’ll get a translator” in Spanish. They also can say, “How can I help you?” in Spanish. In addition to language training, United Educational is promoting a bilingual employee from part-time to full-time, and will hire another part-time bilingual employee. Staff also have learned that in Hispanic families, the husband usually handles all of the finances.
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