April 2024 LEAD On! Newsletter

The Power of Financial Literacy Education

Learn ways financial literacy education can empower workforce professionals, as well as the youth and adult job seekers they support.


Financial Literacy Education

The Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) defines nine program elements for financial literacy education, including budget and bank account creation, credit management, and use of financial products. When helping a job seeker develop an individual plan for employment, a workforce professional can consider employment goals and career pathways, as well as financial literacy education. Financial literacy education can empower job seekers to meet their employment goals and build lifelong financial skills.

In this newsletter, you will learn about several financial literacy education resources, including:

  • a frequently asked questions (FAQ) document focused on WIOA requirements,
  • four blogs demonstrating the “Secure Your Financial Future” toolkit in action, and
  • webinars and other resources about financial literacy education.

Financial Literacy Education FAQ Under WIOA

This FAQ addresses common questions to help workforce professionals understand how WIOA defines financial literacy, who can receive services, how services may be delivered, and what national resources are available to support local efforts. The FAQ also outlines in detail the nine defined program elements for financial literacy education, from which workforce professionals can pick and choose to customize curricula for each customer. Visit the FAQ to learn the answers to the following questions:

  • What is financial literacy education?
  • Is a financial health assessment required to identify a job seeker’s need for financial literacy education?
  • With whom might the youth or adult service delivery system collaborate to provide financial literacy education?


Financial Toolkit in Action

Secure Your Financial Future: A Toolkit for Individuals with Disabilities” helps people with disabilities and others make employment-related decisions based on their financial situation or goals. This comprehensive toolkit provides critical financial literacy resources to all users, regardless of where they are in the work life cycle. Importantly, the toolkit allows youth and adults with disabilities to take financial literacy education into their own hands from the moment they start looking for a job all the way through retirement. To better show the toolkit in action, the LEAD Center spoke with four people with disabilities:

  • After a spinal cord injury, Edward Mitchell became passionate about educating people with disabilities about resources that could help them plan their financial future, including tools like ABLE (Achieving a Better Life Experience) accounts and the “Secure Your Financial Future” toolkit. Edward’s employment journey began as he prepared for work before his injury and continued through the considerations, questions, and setbacks he faced along the way to his current career. Read Edward’s full story on the LEAD website.
  • Timothy Elliott, a disabled U.S. Navy veteran, did not return to work for 10 years after his disability for fear of losing his benefits. With support and tools like the “Secure Your Financial Future” toolkit, he has successfully balanced working and receiving benefits for 20 years. Read Timothy’s full story on the LEAD website.
  • Vander Cherry, a young professional with cerebral palsy, loves his current job, which he gained through a program called Project SEARCH when he was 19. He looks forward to continually growing his hard skills and soft skills, as well as his career, by using programs and tools like the toolkit. Read Vander’s full story on the LEAD website.

Proof that it is never too early to start financial planning, Kenley, a teenager with Down syndrome, is excited to make her own employment and financial decisions as she gets older. Kenley and her mother, Jennifer Casselman, often use digital tools like the “Secure Your Financial Future” toolkit to understand the interplay of Kenley’s benefits, her ABLE account, and employment. Read Kenley’s full story on the LEAD website.


Resource: Aligning Employment and Financial Conversations in American Job Centers

This quick-reference guide provides information and resources to help American Job Center workforce staff and partners discuss financial and employment goal-setting with disabled job seekers. This guide provides the tools workforce professionals need to have successful conversations that align the money and employment goals of job seekers.

Resource: Aligning My Career Path with My Earning Needs

This resource helps job seekers ask important questions like “How much money do I need to earn to pay my bills and meet my financial goals?” to align their career path with their earning needs.

Resource: What Are My Housing Options?

Once a job seeker begins working, they may decide to look at housing options. This resource helps job seekers learn about tools that can help them make housing decisions that best meet their needs.

Resource: Employment and Financial Empowerment: A Toolkit for Youth with Disabilities

This recorded LEAD Center session from the 2023 National Association of Workforce Development Professionals Youth Development Symposium helps workforce professionals understand how financial empowerment and financial literacy can promote employment outcomes; support others to prepare financially for a job; and gain access to financial education-related resources and considerations.


Help Job Seekers Gain Money Smart Skills with Financial Education Tools (October 24, 2023)

This webinar provides an overview of why financial education is vital in the preemployment process and highlights the FDIC’s (Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation) Money Smart suite of free tools, including curricula and online games. This webinar also shares examples of how workforce development organizations have incorporated financial education within their programs.

Advancing Financial Mobility within Native Communities
(May 3, 2023)

This virtual dialogue reviews economic disparities and access to financial resources within Native American and Alaska Native communities. Speakers share strategies for supporting Native American and Alaska Native individuals, including those with disabilities, with resources for economic self-sufficiency, the importance of banking, and financial education. The webinar also spotlights personal stories from Native American and Alaska Native people with disabilities on their financial journey to economic advancement and self-sufficiency.

The Racial Wealth Gap: Financial and Other Resources for Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs)
(April 19, 2022)

In this webinar, speakers from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and the U.S. Department of Labor discuss the racial wealth gap, along with such issues as redlining, appraisal bias, and credit discrimination. This webinar also highlights critical actions for improving economic outcomes for all, including Black youth and young adults with disabilities.


Webinar: Building Infrastructure for Good Jobs: Creating Opportunities for People with Disabilities in the Construction Industry (April 25, 2024)
Archive Coming Soon!

Webinar: Improving Employment Outcomes: The Critical Role of Financial Education (April 29, 2024)
Archive Coming Soon!

Webinar: Using ABLE Accounts to Support Workers in CIE Positions (May 1, 2024)
Register here!