NAPERVILLE, Ill. (7/22/11)--Nearly 30 individuals from 14 Illinois credit unions are on their way to graduating as Certified Credit Union Financial Counselors (CCUFC) of the REAL Solutions Enhanced Financial Counseling Certification Program (FiCEP). With support from the Illinois Credit Union Foundation, the Illinois’ REAL Solutions program started its participation in FiCEP on March 8. While 27 other CCUFCs exist in the state, this was the first coordinated effort to train all Illinois credit unions. Modeled after the CUNA Certified Financial Counselor Schools and as its Financial Counseling Certification Program, FiCEP enables all credit union staff to become more confident in helping members build a stronger financial future. It is designed for those who work in financial counseling, collections, and loan departments, and other staff committed to helping members. Including the Illinois effort, seven states currently conduct the training on a coordinated basis. Five others are in either the recruiting or finalizing stages. The Illinois program concluded Wednesday with the second of two in-person meetings held at the Illinois Credit Union System Center in Naperville. Participants shared their visions for how they will incorporate their new expertise within their credit union. The Illinois REAL Solutions program coordinators plan to get the new CCUFCs together occasionally for networking, support and encouragement as they begin this new endeavor at their credit unions.