Taking on Credit: Per Scholas Builds Students’ Job and Financial Skills
Mark Elliott and Anne Roder
With support from the Citi Foundation, in 2015, Per Scholas sought to expand the financial capability services it offered to students in its IT training programs. The services included a financial workshop and one-on-one assistance from a financial coach to address such issues as credit repair, debt, asset building, and financial crises. Mobility’s assessment of program
implementation and outcomes found that:
- Program graduates experienced significant improvements in their financial situations, including having the income needed to cover basic expenses, following a budget, and saving money for future use.
- Graduates who worked with the financial coach on a specific issue largely felt that the assistance was useful and the issue had either been resolved or was in the process of being resolved.
- Graduates gained an increased awareness of credit reports and of the benefits of improving their credit scores and were interested in receiving further assistance with doing so from the financial coach.
Per Scholas’ experience demonstrates that engaging job training participants in financial coaching can be challenging but workforce development organizations can play an important role in improving individuals’ financial knowledge and instilling positive financial behaviors.