Mar 06, 2024

The Financial Empowerment Center at Montgomery County Provides Residents with Free Financial Services


WHEATON, MD (March 6, 2024) – United Way of the National Capital Area (United Way NCA), along with its partners M&T Bank and WorkSource Montgomery, today announced a partnership with the Latino Economic Development Center (LEDC) to expand services and support residents at the Financial Empowerment Center (FEC) at Montgomery County in Wheaton, Maryland. M&T Bank has invested $450,000 to develop United Way NCA’s Financial Empowerment Center at Montgomery County, which provides clients with the tools needed to achieve financial independence, which begins with building a solid foundation for financial well-being.

“The Financial Empowerment Centers help to reduce barriers and put area residents, especially those in the ALICE population, on a path toward economic opportunity by offering free access to high-quality financial services and guidance in a welcoming, professional environment,” said Rosie Allen-Herring, President and CEO, United Way NCA. “Through partnerships with M&T Bank, WorkSource Montgomery, and now the Latino Economic Development Center, United Way NCA’s Financial Empowerment Centers provide clients with financial training and workforce development skills that can ultimately guide them to opportunities that build generational wealth, such as home ownership, entrepreneurship, and financial success.”

Through the partnership at the FEC in Montgomery County, the Latino Economic Development Center (LEDC) will design and provide inclusive and accessible solutions to address the community’s current financial strains, including helping clients with personalized financial goal setting, debt management guidance, establishing and improving credit scores; investment, retirement, and financial therapy referrals in both English and Spanish.

“Our partnership with United Way and WorkSource Montgomery symbolizes our commitment to being a part of the solution for addressing the financial literacy gap within our communities. By offering access to streamlined educational services, LEDC aims to promote sustainable economic growth and enhance financial independence throughout our communities. We are grateful for the Financial Empowerment Center for enabling LEDC to offer a range of financial education services designed to equip our community members with the tools and knowledge needed to navigate the complex world of finance successfully,” said Emi Reyes, Chief Executive Officer, Latino Economic Development Center.

“WSM and our Workforce Development Board are striving to ensure job seekers have access to quality resources for economic mobility. As such, integrating financial literacy services through the FEC at our Wheaton American Job Center is another step in the right direction,” said Anthony Featherstone, Executive Director, WorkSource Montgomery. “As our partnership with United Way NCA and their research on the ALICE population is a focal point in our service delivery model, we’re excited to welcome the Latino Economic Development Center as we work to increase wages and homeownership for Montgomery County residents.”

The powerful network of five United Way NCA Financial Empowerment Centers supports the ALICE (a United Way acronym for Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed) population by providing financial counseling and coaching to help residents stretch their dollars. Services include one-on-one personal and small business financial coaching, workshops, tax preparation by IRS-qualified volunteers, virtual libraries and more. In addition, the FECs have embedded workforce services to connect clients with jobs and skills training and set them on a path to home ownership. Each FEC brings together the most effective partners to help clients grow income, build assets, manage debt, and improve credit – a much-needed resource for the ALICE community.

United Way NCA FECs are in Washington, D.C.; Montgomery County and Prince George’s County, Maryland; and Fairfax County and Prince William County, Virginia. For more information about United Way NCA’s FECs, please visit our Financial Empowerment Centers.

About United Way of the National Capital Area

United Way of the National Capital Area works to improve the health, education, and economic opportunity of every person in the National Capital community. United Way NCA creates measurable impact in the District of Columbia, Northern Virginia, Montgomery, and Prince George’s Counties for more than 45 years. In 2020, United Way NCA was among 384 organizations across the United States to receive a generous transformational investment from novelist and venture philanthropist, MacKenzie Scott. For more information about United Way of the National Capital Area, visit UnitedWayNCA.org.

About The Latino Economic Development Center 

The Latino Economic Development Center (LEDC) is a non-profit, tax-exempt community development organization founded in 1991. LEDC’s mission is to serve as a catalyst that drives the economic and social advancement of low-to-moderate-income Latinos and other underserved communities by equipping them with the skills and tools to achieve financial independence, acquire personal and business assets, create generational wealth and become leaders in their communities. For more information about LEDC and its services, events, and workshops, visit ledcmetro.org.

About WorkSource Montgomery

WorkSource Montgomery (WSM) is the lead Workforce Development organization in Montgomery County, Maryland. The organization operates the American Job Centers in Wheaton and Germantown, along with several satellite sites, and provides comprehensive workforce development services to Montgomery County residents and businesses. Programs and initiatives offered by WSM are supported by federal, state, and county funding. For more information about WorkSource Montgomery and current programs, events, and workshops, visit worksourcemontgomery.com.