United Way of Summit County announced today that it would receive a $50,000 grant from Wells Fargo in support of its financial empowerment efforts in Summit County. The grant will fund financial counseling, credit report analysis, Volunteer Income Tax Assistance preparation and curated banking services at the Financial Empowerment Center.
The Financial Empowerment Center at 1060 Kenmore Blvd. had its official opening in June and is an initiative of United Way in partnership with the City of Akron. The center provides free, one-on-one financial counseling, available to all Summit County residents regardless of income. Counseling sessions focus on helping residents develop the skills to create a budget, save, pay down debt and improve credit scores.
“Wells Fargo puts our customers at the center of everything we do,” said Regional Vice President and northern Ohio regional Middle Market Banking Manager Jason Sutton. “This grant to the United Way of Summit County will financially empower 11,000 low- to moderate- income individuals in Akron and set them up for financial success in a city where 48 percent of the community is living below poverty levels.”
Private Client Group Market Manager Seth Barnes said, “This collaboration and focus on financial education is the first of its kind in this area and addresses the financial health needs of low- to moderate-income individuals. The Financial Empowerment Center services focus on each individual’s financial health and how they can reduce debt, increase savings, build assets and more at no charge. During this year of significant challenge and change, our team continues to focus on what matters — supporting our customers, communities, and each other.”
In addition to providing free financial counseling, the FEC is home to United Way’s Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program and the Bank On Rubber City initiative, which works to expand safe and affordable banking to Summit County residents. By helping to fund these programs, the grant from Wells Fargo advances United Way’s Bold Goal 3 – to financially empower 11,000 Summit County residents by 2025.
“We are thrilled to have Wells Fargo as a partner in our work,” said Jim Mullen, president and CEO of United Way of Summit County. “Wells Fargo is setting a powerful example for other companies – that by investing in the financial health and stability of our residents, they can strengthen the economic future of Summit County.”