City of Memphis to provide free coaching, classes for all employees in unique partnership

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (localmemphis.com) — Memphis is working to bring financial literacy resources to all its employees in a first-of-its-kind partnership.

The city is the first to partner with the non-profit Operation HOPE to offer financial coaching and classes to all city staff. Operation HOPE provides financial literacy empowerment throughout the nation.

Previously, Operation HOPE’s only municipal partnership was with the Atlanta Police Department.

The service provided by the non-profit and Memphis is called HOPE Inside The Workplace. Grant funding for it started on July 1.

City staff will get an added workplace benefit to receive one-on-one financial coaching and can attend classes. Financial topics range from money management, building credit, saving for college and retirement and buying a home.

Alex Smith, the city’s Chief Human Resources Officer, says the service can be personalized to any financial goal.

That same financial content will also be added into the annual training sessions for the police and fire departments.

Smith says the city wants to not only be competitive in terms of hiring but to improve employee well-being holistically. “Getting professional support to be able to do that, we believe makes a huge difference in being able to help our employees be able to have that confidence, that understanding and also the stability.”

Last year, the city increased its minimum wage to $15.50. In 2017, the city became the first to offer a student debt reduction plan.

“We know that finance is one of the key drivers of stress for individuals and particularly those who may be on the lower earning skill so it’s being able to provide more support and particularly from a planning perspective,” Smith says.

This new benefit is expected to begin in October.

Operation HOPE is tasked with hiring and providing all the resources.

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