NAPERVILLE, Ill. (3/10/10)--The Illinois Credit Union League (ICUL) and Iowa-based Coopera Consulting have partnered to help Illinois credit unions with Hispanic outreach. The league is collaborating with Coopera Consulting to strengthen its Hispanic outreach program because Coopera has developed a comprehensive tool that complements its REAL Solutions efforts. Dan Plauda, ICUL president/CEO, said he is confident the collaboration will elevate ICUL’s underserved initiatives and help expand credit union service to a segment of the population that needs it most. “Without the benefits of a credit union relationship, these consumers are forced into a fringe economy that preys upon the working class,” he said. Coopera Consulting will help motivate and assist credit unions in successfully serving the Hispanic community. As a REAL Solutions participating league, ICUL is committed to a partnership with the National Credit Union Foundation, to help Illinois credit unions better help underserved populations. The Illinois Credit Union Foundation also has committed to providing grant dollars to help credit unions reach underserved populations and pursue other strategic initiatives. Coopera created the Hispanic Opportunity Navigator (HON), an assessment of the opportunities and challenges in Hispanic outreach that are unique to a credit union. After completing the assessment, a credit union will have the prioritized steps necessary to become the financial institution of choice serving Hispanics within its field of membership, said the league. Depending on the size of the credit union and the breadth of services, the cost of the HON and a year of Coopera’s consulting typically ranges from $400 to $1,300 per month. Illinois credit unions can apply for league grants to partially offset the costs. The Credit Union National Association also has a partnership with Coopera for Hispanic outreach.