Helping Employed Youth Get Banked, Save and Manage Money

Nearly 20 million young people were employed in July 2013. Summer youth employment programs are a great opportunity for young people to develop job skills and experience. As youth receive a paycheck—possibly for the first time—and prepare for adulthood, they should also be developing the knowledge, skills and access to financial management resources that will help them manage their finances effectively now and in the future.

Research says that financial education should involve hands-on application and be relevant at the time people receive the information. What better time to help youth become banked, start saving and learn financial management skills than when they receive their first paycheck? Across the country, organizations that manage youth employment programs have begun to integrate financial education into their programs, establish partnerships with employers to build financial capability and identify effective strategies to collaborate with financial institutions.

In November 2013, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) collaborated with other agencies on the Financial Literacy and Education Commission (FLEC) to bring together national and local leaders from promising programs across the country. Four lessons emerged from this roundtable and are outlined in Building Financial Capability in Youth Employment Programs, a report we prepared for the CFPB and Administration for Children and Families (ACF):

  • Lesson 1: Partnerships with the private sector, nonprofit organizations, government agencies, financial institutions and youth are necessary for successful program implementation.
  • Lesson 2: Financial education should be tailored to the needs of youth, employers and financial education providers.
  • Lesson 3: Financial products offered to youth should be carefully selected by weighing the costs and risks of various options.
  • Lesson 4: Organizations should develop explicit strategies for engaging youth in the short and long term. Efforts to engage youth are important both during and after the employment program.

Check out the report for insights from national and local leaders, and for specific examples for how you can help youth that you serve build financial capability.

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