Northeast Community Credit Union: The Success Story Continues
Published 8:26 am Friday, December 9, 2022
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Northeast Community Credit Union in-school branches are helping high school students in a tremendous way. Students are gaining personal finance knowledge as well as critical on-the-job skills through the Credit Union’s two in-school branches. These branches are staffed by students and NCCU staff, and offer hands-on training in customer service, information security, financial transactions, and much more. Former student workers have come back to thank the Credit Union, saying the advantage the experience gave them made a big difference in their ability to get subsequent jobs.
Northeast Community Credit Union, widely acknowledged as the leader in advancing financial literacy for students of all ages, has a student branch in Unaka High School and one in Elizabethton High School. The UHS “Ranger Station” branch opened in 2019, and the “Cyclone Branch” at EHS opened in 2021.
Collaborating with school personal finance and business instructors, administrators, and advisors, the Credit Union has helped many students develop practical saving and spending plans, learn what debt is about, and other personal finance concepts that are easier to grasp using real-life experiences.
Students are selected to work in the in-school branches through an actual interview process that also includes individual feedback to help students prepare for future job interviews. Students can earn community service credits required for scholarships and gain beneficial skills that will help them at workplaces later in their lives.
“The post-secondary job market is competitive and Northeast Community Credit Union is providing our students a chance to get ahead in the sector of finance and banking with the support of their friendly staff,” said EHS Principal Jon Minton. “Our partnership with NCCU has allowed our students to learn and apply skills in a real-world scenario. Once students learn about finance through our core curriculum at EHS, the mobile branch gives them the opportunity to build on their knowledge and gain experience that otherwise wouldn’t be available to them.”
The school branches are open a few hours each week. Students learn to conduct financial transactions and take part in various training exercises led by Northeast Community Credit Union personnel. The curriculum is planned to coincide with classroom lesson plans so the students can gain real life experience while receiving instruction on key personal finance topics. Through experiential learning programs, students learn about business, customer service, economic systems, how to make and stick to a budget, and much more.
Along with all the skills and training students are gaining, the branches also bring extra convenience to students and staff in the schools.
“Having access to your account in a pinch is nice,” said UHS Assistant Principal Teresa Taylor. “It is very convenient for faculty, staff, and students to have access to their money here at school if they need it. I have used it several times myself, which has saved me a trip to town for money. Students and staff can deposit money or withdraw money from accounts, or set up new accounts from the school. It is a very nice feature provided to the schools.”
NCCU President/CEO Teresa Arnold said that providing these in-school branches was a group effort involving school staff, Northeast Community Credit Union Board of Directors, and credit union staff.
“Giving students this advantage as they start their adult lives and careers is a definite plus for them, their families, and our whole community,” Arnold said. “Sound judgement, common sense, and strong financial principals are important to making wise choices. We’ve seen how conservative choices impact personal resources as well as the health and well-being of our community. We appreciate another opportunity to make a positive impact by helping students be better prepared for the workforce.”
Northeast Community Credit Union, with offices in Elizabethton, Roan Mountain, and Johnson City, is a full-service financial institution chartered in 1952. NCCU is ranked among the top 2% in the nation and is diligent in its efforts to help improve lives in the community; it has been helping adults and young people reach their dreams and attain their goals for more than 70 years.