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Financial wellness program created for state workforce

The Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions (DFI) and the Wisconsin Department of Employee Trust Funds (ETF), has announced they were awarded a $100,000 grant to establish a financial wellness program for Wisconsin’s workforce.

More specifically, the funding will be used to fund a new “Wisconsin Strong” program, to provide a holistic financial wellness program for all Wisconsin public service employees, retirees and their families.

Funded by the Wells Fargo Foundation, this one-year grant comes at a time when many of the nearly 19 million state and local government employees across the U.S., continue to serve on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic. Many governments are also confronting unprecedented budget shortfalls and workers are increasingly concerned about family finances.

This grant is structured as a collaboration between the Center for State and Local Government Excellence (SLGE), the International Public Management Association for Human Resources (IPMA-HR), the National Association of State Treasurers’ Foundation (NAST Foundation) and Wells Fargo. Through those effforts, 24 state and local government jurisdictions were awarded grants.

In a recent national poll conducted by the SLGE, 56 percent of state and local public employees reported that their family has been negatively impacted financially by the crisis, and more than half are worried about their family finances, losing their job, furloughs, and pay and benefit reductions.

During the one-year initiative, the DFI and ETF will develop a financial wellness program, to focus on lifelong savings needs and provide a toolbox of proven financial fitness resources, designed to support financial wellness, including a financial health assessment, saving for college and retirement planning.

“This grant will make it possible to develop and deliver a financial wellness program to train public service employees and retirees of the state of Wisconsin, and their families, to build a lifetime of successful saving,” said DFI secretary Kathy Blumenfeld. “Financial wellness is an important life skill that helps people take control of their financial future.”