Metro partners with community organizations to launch CONNECT

Chelsea, Mass. (February 14, 2012) - On January 19th, Metro Credit Union joined five other Chelsea-based organizations at the Federal Reserve Bank in Boston to launch CONNECT, a new initiative to bring bundled financial stability services to the city’s low-income residents from a central location. The mission of CONNECT is to integrate financial management and employment services that will help Chelsea residents set goals, and manage and increase their personal income and assets.
Chelsea residents, many of whom are recent immigrants, face a number of challenges, including:
  • 64% speak a language at home that is not English
  • Limited education – 37% of those aged 25 and older lack a high school diploma
  • Highly competitive job market since the downturn
  • Lack of familiarity with financial systems
  • Lack of individual support
  • Lack of social capital
  • Isolated adult education and job training services

Through CONNECT, the participating community partners have come together to achieve their vision of a supportive, welcoming neighborhood-based center where individuals and families can access the full array of supports needed to achieve economic stability.  This will be accomplished through traditional workforce development support from CareerSource, Centro Latino, and Bunker Hill Community College, in coordination with asset development and housing services from Chelsea Neighborhood Developers, Metropolitan Boston Housing Partnership, and Metro Credit Union.
Metro will be providing on-site banking access, financial coaching, debt management, credit repair assistance, and tax preparation.  One of the goals is to provide the unbanked or underbanked with the knowledge and resources needed to open their own bank account as opposed to utilizing check-cashing services and payday lenders.

“Metro Credit Union is proud to be part of the partnership of community organizations that share a commitment to the people of Chelsea,” said Robert M. Cashman, President and CEO of Metro Credit Union.  Mr. Cashman went on to say, “Through CONNECT, residents and businesses of Chelsea will be able to achieve and sustain financial stability. Metro’s innovative products, services and programs, like the one-on-one financial coaching model, will assist the community in building assets and moving toward financial independence.”

About Metro Credit Union
Metro Credit Union is one of the largest credit unions in Massachusetts with over $900 million in assets, and serves over 134,000 members.  Established in 1926 and based in Chelsea, Metro offers superior service and a full range of financial products, including investment and insurance offerings, for consumers and businesses in eastern Massachusetts.  Metro has thirteen branch offices conveniently located in Boston, Burlington, Chelsea, Framingham, Lawrence, Lynn, Melrose, Peabody, Salem, and Tewksbury.  Metro is also a leader in workplace banking, serving over 1,800 companies throughout the state