LA and Orange County WIC employees get MoneyWi$e

Consumer Action trained over 1,000 Los Angeles and Orange County WIC employees on staying fiscally healthy in a tough economy. The MoneyWise Financial Educational Program is a joint project between Consumer Action and Capital One.
Published: Tuesday, January 05, 2010

On December 8th and 15th, Consumer Action Outreach and Training Manager Linda J. Williams presented the MoneyWise Financial Educational Program at an in-service training for employees of the Public Health Foundation Enterprises WIC Program (PHFE-WIC). With over 50 WIC Centers in high-density areas in Los Angeles and Orange counties, PHFE is the largest WIC agency in the county. PHFE serves 4% of the nation’s total WIC and 25% of California’s total WIC participants, approximately 316,000 low income and hard to reach consumers every month.

Williams began the training by sharing with participants Consumer Action’s mission to “help individual consumers assert their rights in the marketplace,” noting that the MoneyWise Financial Educational Program is one of the ways the organization is achieving this mission. Williams next introduced the group to the MoneyWise Money Management modules, which include a broad range of topics such as savings, banking, budgeting, cutting expenses, and rebuilding credit. Williams told participants that as frontline advocates serving the country’s most vulnerable consumers in a stifling economy, they should to consider incorporating the Money Management module in their agency’s orientation for new clients.

Williams demonstrated for participants how the Money Management module could be used to train their clients. After dividing participants into small groups, she walked them through a case management plan for a fictional client, Sally Walker. Williams used the case plan activity to teach participants how to create a saving and spending plan, set goals, tract expenses, cut expenses, implement a realistic budget, handle collection accounts, and review their credit and specialty consumer reports. Some participants were stunned when they learned that specialty consumer reports are free and have been available for consumers since December 1, 2004.

Williams ended the training by encouraging participants to continue their training, pointing out that Consumer Action and its partner Capital One have launched online interactive financial education eLearning modules for consumers. The courses, which can be accessed at MoneyWi$e website, offer case studies, interactive tips, and exercises along with a variety of resources based on the MoneyWise financial education materials. Williams challenged her audience to become money wiser in 2010 by using the MoneyWise materials, adding that accessing the eLearning module online should be the first item on their New Years’ list of resolutions.




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