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N.J. league meeting discusses internships for disabled
HIGHTSTOWN, N.J. (8/31/10)--The New Jersey Credit Union League recently hosted a meeting for credit unions to discuss internships for disabled individuals through a program that has been implemented at five credit unions in the state.
Click to view larger image The New Jersey Credit Union League hosted a meeting about credit union internships for the disabled through the Building Economic Strength Together program. From left are: Daymar Rivera and Cathyann Frank, McGraw Hill FCU; Jose Del Valle, intern; Mulu Gebreyesus, New Community FCU; Megan Timble, intern; Pamela Owens, National Federation of Community Development Credit Unions; Angel Santos, New Jersey Credit Union League; Jessica Revoir and Helga Britton, First Financial FCU; Regina Calamanco, Michael Holguin, Joshua Stanlaw and Crystal Castro, interns; Stacie Fourroux and Jennifer Seder, Healthcare Employees FCU; and Paul Gentile, CEO of the league. (Photo provided by the National Federation of Community Development Credit Unions)
The meeting was facilitated by Mark Lynch, field coach for the National Credit Union Foundation’s REAL Solutions program, and Pamela Owens, director of education and training with the National Federation of Community Development Credit Unions. It focused on the Building Economic Strength Together (BEST) program, aimed at strengthening the connection between credit unions and the disabled community. The community is widely unbanked or underbanked, said the federation. BEST was developed by the federation, the National Disability Institute, and Allies Inc., a New Jersey-based training group for the disabled. The New Jersey league supports the program through its REAL Solutions initiative. Beginning in mid-July, seven interns worked at five New Jersey credit unions: McGraw Hill FCU, East Windsor; Healthcare Employees FCU, Princeton; First Financial FCU, Toms River; New Community FCU, Newark; and Novartis FCU, East Hanover. Interns worked in the credit unions’ human resources, marketing and accounting departments, and as tellers and member service representatives. Though only New Jersey credit unions are in the BEST programs. Program participants hope their work will serve as a national model. “This program not only helps those from the disability community gain valuable on-the-job experience by interning at credit unions, but it also helps credit unions understand how to better serve this important segment of our population,” said league President/CEO Paul Gentile. “Our involvement in the BEST internship program has been a truly rewarding experience,” added Jennifer Seder, director of marketing and business development at Healthcare Employees FCU. “It has allowed ups to explore ways to understand the needs of the disability community, while providing a hands-on approach for our intern to learn about the credit union industry from the inside out.” Training for BEST interns is paid for and conducted by BEST’s partner organizations. The credit unions involved in the project have little to no cost associated with participation.
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