For Immediate Release: April 6, 2011
State agencies working together to advance financial education, help Minnesotans achieve financial security
ST. PAUL, MN - Governor Mark Dayton has issued proclamation declaring the month of April to be Youth Financial Literacy Month in Minnesota. Governor Dayton is bringing new energy and commitment to the effort, directing state agencies to help Minnesotans achieve financial security through education, outreach, and support for public-private partnerships.
"Financial literacy is an important cornerstone of economic success," said Governor Dayton. "Assuring that all of our youth know how to manage money wisely will help them make the wise decisions to achieve greater financial security."
Governor Dayton has enlisted state agencies to partner with businesses, financial institutions, foundations, nonprofits, and state legislators to improve financial literacy in Minnesota. The Dayton Administration is taking a multi-agency approach in that effort: from proactive consumer outreach efforts at the Department of Commerce, to engaging low-income populations in programs at the Department of Human Services and the Department of Employment and Economic Development, to revising social studies standards at the Department of Education.
"Minnesota needs a comprehensive approach to financial literacy; one that provides all Minnesotans, from Kindergarten to retirement, access to the resources, education, and protections they need to be financially secure," said Commerce Commissioner Mike Rothman, whose agency regulates the state's financial institutions and investigates consumer complaints. "It will take all of us, working together, to make that mission a reality in Minnesota."
Commissioner Rothman is initiating a financial literacy roundtable this month with more than 40 business leaders, nonprofits, legislators, and government representatives. Rothman is hopeful that conversation will facilitate new ideas and collaboration by: 1) identifying what is being done already to advance financial literacy in Minnesota; and 2) pinpointing what stakeholders can do together to achieve tangible progress in the months and years ahead.
Governor Dayton says there is no better place to start in that effort than with Minnesota's children. Eden Prairie High School business teacher Jim Eisenreich agrees.
"People learn spending and savings habits at a young age," said Eisenreich, who also serves as President of the Minnesota Jump$tart Coalition - a group working to improve the financial literacy of Minnesota youth. "It is important that we give young people a solid foundation of financial knowledge. It is the only way to prepare the next generation of Minnesotans for long-term financial security."
In recognition of Financial Literacy Month, the Jump$tart Coalition is hosting a one-day financial literacy awareness event on Tuesday, April 26. The event will focus on strategies to educate young people about financial issues. More information about that event can be found online at www.mnjumpstart.org . The event is free and open to the public.
The Minnesota Financial Fitness Network will also be hosting an event this month, from April 20 to 21 at Arrowood Resort in Alexandria. The conference is focused on strategies to help low-income Minnesotans achieve self-sufficiency and financial security. More information about that event can be found online at www.helpmnsave.org.