There is power in numbers—especially if you want to hone your skills.
New Community played host to a dozen agencies hailing from New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and New Jersey that all recently launched Financial Opportunity Centers (FOCs) and are looking for ways to best serve those who walk through their doors.
FOCs are career and personal finance centers that offer services such as financial coaching, employment services, credit counseling and access to income supports to low and moderate income families with the end goal of building their wealth.
“An FOC is not a place, it’s a model. It’s the bundling of services together to (achieve) a greater impact,” said James Crowder, program officer at Philadelphia LISC, one of four Philadelphia-based organizations that visited NCC for the regional gathering.
New Community officially opened its Financial Opportunity Center on February 23 at the Workforce Development Center, 274 South Orange Ave. in Newark, with funding provided in part by a grant from the Nicholson Foundation and support from Greater Newark LISC, which organized the daylong FOC event. LISC has a network of about 80 FOCs across the U.S. that are “embedded in local community organizations that are trusted,” according to its website.
CEO Richard Rohrman highlighted how New Community’s new FOC brings together existing resources at NCC, such as the job training programs, one-stop Family Resource Success Center and services at the New Community Federal Credit Union.
“The FOC dovetails into what we’re doing perfectly,” he said.