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Financial Capability Month

Minnesota state agencies celebrate Financial Capability Month, with a focus on expanding economic opportunity for all Minnesotans

For the 6th year in a row, Minnesota is recognizing Financial Capability Month in April. This year’s theme is "Financial Capability for an inclusive Minnesota economy." Minnesota's ten state agencies that comprise the Work Group on Financial Literacy will highlight opportunities to expand economic opportunities and eliminate disparities.

“Minnesota is committed to building a strong economy that works for everyone,” said Commerce Commissioner Rothman. “The Work Group on Financial Literacy continues to work on a strong economy that ensures everyone succeeds.”

Participating agencies include the Minnesota Departments of Commerce, Corrections, Education, Employment and Economic Development, Higher Education, Housing Finance, Human Rights, Human Services, Military Affairs, and Revenue

The state agencies have continued to collaborate with non-profits, local governments, private enterprises, and financial institutions to celebrate progress already achieved, form new and effective partnerships, and draw a roadmap for tangible action into the future.

Encouraging sustainable homeownership

The Commerce Department announced a competitive grant opportunity for nonprofit organizations to advance the dream of successful homeownership for more Minnesota families. Funded by the state’s Real Estate Education, Research, and Recovery Fund (REERRF), the grant is aimed at building healthy, stable communities through successful homeownership. It is intended to provide support for programs used to advance and maintain successful homeownership in communities across Minnesota with historically low homeownership rates. Up to $350,000 in total funding is available through the REEERF and will close on April 21, 2016. Non-profit organizations interested in apply for the grant should visit the Commerce Department website.

Savings for stable communities

Asset ownership among families with low incomes is increasingly recognized as one of the most promising strategies to move families out of poverty and into self-sufficiency.

To combat poverty, Minnesota utilizes the Family Assets for Independence in Minnesota program, combing individual development accounts, matched savings accounts—providing financial incentives to save—with financial literacy education, asset-specific training and ongoing coaching to support and facilitates families’ ability to acquire and increase their assets, financial capabilities and economic security.

With funding from the Minnesota Department of Human Services, the Family Assets for Independence in Minnesota program is delivered by statewide, multi-state partnerships, including a collaborative of 21 Community Action Agencies.

An inclusive and educated workforce

According to the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development, the economy is growing and so is the demand in hiring.

The Office of Higher Education, through the Minnesota State Grant Program and the Minnesota College Savings Plan, are helping more Minnesota students get the education they need to thrive in the workforce.

The Minnesota State Grant Program is the state's largest financial aid program providing need-based grant assistance to Minnesota undergraduates. In fiscal year 2014 (academic year 2014-2015) the Minnesota State Grant Program awarded $177 million to 99,324 grant recipients.

The Minnesota College Savings Plan is a tax-advantaged 529 college savings plan that helps families and individuals save for college. The plan is available to any citizen or tax payer. And just about anyone can help contribute including grandparents, other family members and friends.

6th Annual Financial Capability Roundtable

The Financial Capability Roundtable will serve as the pinnacle event for the month and will highlight success stories and case studies from Minnesota’s strong financial education and empowerment community.

Congressman Keith Ellison, member of the United State House Financial Services Committee, will serve as keynote speaker and Andrea Levere, President of CFED will discuss policy interventions to build assets and expand economic opportunity for Minnesotans from kindergarten to retirement.

The roundtable will take place at the Minneapolis Central Library, Pohlad Hall on April 12th. Registration opens at 7:30 AM and the program will begin promptly at 8:00 AM. The event is free, but registration is required.

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