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SC Group Wins $50K NCUA Collaboration Grant
ALEXANDRIA, Va. (4/17/13)--The National Credit Union Administration's move to support a developing credit union collaborative talent management program with a $50,000 grant "is a great 'win' for credit unions small and large," Health Facilities FCU CEO Robert Harris told News Now on Tuesday. Health Facilities FCU is based in Florence, S.C.

The NCUA announced Tuesday that Health Facilities, South Carolina FCU, of North Charleston, and Optimal Talent Solutions, a South Carolina credit union service organization, will receive the $50,000 grant an NCUA grant program that rewards a credit union group for developing the best plan to collaborate and better serve their members. Greenwood Municipal CU, Greenwood, S.C., and Spartan FCU, Spartanburg, S.C., will also take part in the program.

The NCUA in a release said the group will work together to provide free talent management consulting and training in areas including succession management, recruitment, performance management, and diversity and inclusion.

Larger credit unions with excess capacity, whether it is in training, back office, collections, or human resources, can provide talent management and consulting services to smaller credit unions, not for free but for a fee, Harris explained. The developing collaborative program "will help the larger credit unions offset some of their expenses while providing a true service to small credit unions that would not be able to otherwise afford the service," Harris added.

"Collaborations among small credit unions to help them develop best practices are important to their long-term success," NCUA Chairman Debbie Matz said. "Employee recruitment, development, and succession are all core needs for any business, but small credit unions with limited capacity and resources have a difficult time managing those needs. This project can help provide that capacity and those resources," she added.

The South Carolina credit unions represented one of seven low-income credit union groups that submitted ideas to the agency.

To qualify for the grant, a low-income credit union--or LICU--must partner with at least one other credit union. State credit union leagues and associations, additional credit unions, credit union service organizations and third-party vendors may also be added to the collaborative effort.

The NCUA's Office of Small Credit Union Initiatives (OSCUI) evaluated grant applications based on their scalability, potential benefits, innovativeness, and other factors. Funding for this grant is provided by the Community Development Revolving Loan Fund.

NCUA OSCUI Director William Myers said the agency will "continue to seek out and fund areas of outstanding collaboration for small credit unions."

For more on the grant program award, use the resource link.
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