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October is National Disability Employment Awareness month

October is National Disability Employment Awareness month

 

Jimmy Dean, Dawn Hutchinson, Shannon Wilson, Sharon Cullen, Beth Schumer and Ryan Boyle of Helping People Succeed’s Successful Futures program
Debi Athos, Jen Ripperger and Janet Kissam of Helping People Succeed’s Successful Futures program

 

October is National Disability Employment Awareness month. And lest you think the only people this affects favorably are those who have found jobs that match their individual skill sets, the fact is their employers and the general population of the United States benefit, too.

Helping People Succeed, the nonprofit that’s been making a difference on the Treasure Coast for more than half a century, has two programs that match employers and employees: Successful Futures and Project Search.

As Suzy Hutcheson, CEO of Helping People Succeed says, “Many people have asked us, what can a person with a disability do in the workforce of today - our answer is just about anything.”

Shannon Wilson is Director of Successful Futures at the nonprofit. She receives referrals from Florida’s Division of Vocational Rehabilitation which in turn are matched up with clients of Helping People Succeed who have the physical, cognitive and sensory skills to do the job.

Because there is great care taken to make successful matches, it can take 3-4 months for a client to find a job. Employers will get referrals that include:

  • Matching their needs with the abilities and skills of applicants
  • Providing on-site training for the new employee
  • Providing follow-up and on-going support services both to the newly hired employee and the employer to ensure job placement satisfaction

The follow-up support services are performed by a Helping People Succeed Employment Consultant (or Retention Specialist) who works with each employee, giving whatever support is necessary for the client to understand, perform and enjoy their job.

This can continue throughout the client’s entire working career if it is requested. Businesses that have trouble hiring competent workers are often pleasantly surprised when they offer someone with a disability the chance to work for them.

Helping People Succeed’s other initiative, Project Search, is offered in conjunction with the Martin County School District. It’s a one-year transition program for students aged 18-21 who have graduated from high school. It takes place in a business setting in which the interns are totally immersed, allowing them to become employable with competitive work skills. Individualized job development and placement is on-going and based on strengths, skills and interests.

Hutcheson likes to say that Helping People Succeed creates taxpayers. And although October is National Disability Employment Awareness month, the nonprofit works every day of the year to help people with disabilities become accepted, included and valued employees.

For more information about employment training and other programs offered by Helping People Succeed, visit www.hpsfl.org.

 

 

Treasure Coast Business is a news service and magazine published in print, via e-newsletter and online at tcbusiness.com by Indian River Media Group. For more information or to report news email [email protected]
Oct. 17, 2022|

Florida SBDC IRSC teaches how to become a bankable business

Florida SBDC IRSC teaches how to become a bankable business

 

 

The Florida Small Business Development Center (SBDC) at Indian River State College (IRSC) in collaboration with the Florida Bankers Association will conduct and host the How to Become a Bankable Business seminar.  The event will take place on the IRSC Massey Campus Kight Center For Emerging Technologies in Fort Pierce on Friday, Oct. 21, 2022 from 8:00 to 11:00 a.m.

Capital is critical for entrepreneurs as they launch and grow their businesses. A regionally healthy small business community is essential for sustainable economic development and neighborhood revitalization. Entrepreneurs need access to capital, networks and guidance as they grow. Access to capital supports the region’s recruitment of new business ventures, while also providing existing operators the environment to expand operations, which creates new employment opportunities. Frequently, worthwhile projects with great economic potential never move beyond the planning stage due to the inability to access needed capital.

In this seminar business owners will learn from the top banks in the community, get questions answered from real local lenders, and network with other business owners, bankers, and more.

There is no cost to attend, all interested can register via: https://form.jotform.com/222795410943156

Sponsors and speakers for this event include Marine Bank & Trust, PNC Bank, and SouthState Bank. Refreshments and networking opportunities will be available.

Hosted by Indian River State College, the Florida SBDC at IRSC provides aspiring and existing small businesses in Indian River, St. Lucie, Martin, and Okeechobee counties with no-cost consulting, low-cost training, and access to business data and research resources.

To learn more about this event or the FSBDC at IRSC please call (772) 336-6285, or email [email protected]

 

About the Florida SBDC Network:

For over forty years, the Florida SBDC Network, the state’s principal provider of business assistance [Fl. Stat. 288.001], has nourished a statewide partnership between higher education and economic development to provide existing and emerging small and medium-sized business owners with management and knowledge resources that enable overall growth, increased profitability, and economic prosperity for Florida’s economy.

In 2019, Florida SBDCs provided 114,064 hours of professional business consulting to 12,535 client businesses, resulting in 37,966 jobs impacted; $4.4 billion in sales generated; $496.5 million in government contracts acquired; and $255.3 million in capital accessed; and 453 new businesses started.  With over 40 offices statewide, the Florida SBDC is funded in part by the U.S. Small Business Administration, Defense Logistics Agency, State of Florida and other private and public partners. The Florida SBDC Network, headquartered at the University of West Florida, is nationally accredited by the Association of SBDCs and is a recipient of the President’s E Award for Export Service. Florida SBDC services are extended to the public on a nondiscriminatory basis. Language assistance services are available for individuals with limited English proficiency. For more information, please visit www.FloridaSBDC.org.

 

 

 

 

Treasure Coast Business is a news service and magazine published in print, via e-newsletter and online at tcbusiness.com by Indian River Media Group. For more information or to report news email [email protected]
Oct. 10, 2022|

Three IRSC students receive scholarships from Port St. Lucie Business Women

Three IRSC students receive scholarships from Port St. Lucie Business Women

PSLBW Scholarship Committee Chair Carol Wyatt, President Jessica Parrish, Sherri Monds, Scholarship Development Coordinator/Student Success Services, IRSC

 

Since its inception in 1980, the Port St. Lucie Business Women has supported women in the advancement of their education at Indian River State College and in their careers. To date, the Business Women has donated more than $125,000 to the Indian River State College Foundation through its annual scholarship awards from money raised in the organization's Spring Fashion Show, assuring the future of more than 70 local women. Three outstanding students were chosen as this year's scholarship recipients.

The Port St. Lucie Business Women/Kay Schaeffer Memorial Scholarship is an annual award of $2,500 for tuition and books to a woman who plans to attend or is enrolled at Indian River State College. The Port St. Lucie Business Women's Scholarship also is an annual award of $2,500 for tuition and books to a female student who currently is pursuing a degree or certificate program at IRSC.

Jahiuka Lifhred is the recipient of the Port St. Lucie Business Women/Kay Schaeffer Memorial High School Scholarship. Lifhred plants to pursue an Associate of Arts degree, followed by a Bachelor of Arts. Her ultimate goal is to become a nurse practitioner or a surgeon. “I chose this career path because I’m passionate about helping others in need,” says Lifhred. She currently works at the performing arts company End It, a non-profit youth organization that provides education, inspiration, and positive alternatives utilizing the arts. While her goals are serious, Lifhred is quick to mention that she loves pizza, being goofy and the musical Hamilton.

Marline Destin-Chery has been awarded the Port St. Lucie Business Women/Kay Schaeffer Memorial Baccalaureate Scholarship. She is working towards completing her Bachelor of Arts to become a teacher in the St. Lucie County School District. “My biggest motivation is showing my 7-year-old son that anything is possible if you work hard at it,” says Destin-Chery. She works as a Pre-K paraprofessional assisting a teacher with a class of 4- and 5-year-old children. She loves to go camping and to the beach with her son, creating warm memories.

Peyton Santa has been awarded the Port St. Lucie Business Women/Kay Schaeffer Memorial Certificate or Degree Program Scholarship. She is working towards certification as an Emergency Medical Technician. Following attaining this goal, she plans to attend the IRSC Fire Academy and apply for a position in the St. Lucie County Fire District. Beyond this, Santa wants to receive firefighter paramedic training so that one day, she may rise to the position of Chief Fire Officer. “Serving in the United States Navy gave me both strength and confidence,” she says, traits that have served her well as a foundation for her lofty pursuits. Santa shares that she also is passionate about horses and hopes to run an equine rescue and rehabilitation facility. “I like to say at least three nice things to random strangers on a daily basis and brighten their day,” she adds.

Students may apply for scholarships starting November 1 through the IRSC online scholarship application portal. For more information contact Indian River State College at (772) 462-4786, or by e-mail at [email protected].

The Port St. Lucie Business Women is a 42-year-old, 501 (c) (6) non-profit professional organization dedicated to promoting the interests of businesswomen and serving our community effectively. For more information, visit PSLBW.com. Follow their Facebook page for updates about events, programs and community involvement.

 

 

Treasure Coast Business is a news service and magazine published in print, via e-newsletter and online at tcbusiness.com by Indian River Media Group. For more information or to report news email [email protected]
Oct. 10, 2022|

SBA adds central and north Florida counties to disaster declaration for Hurricane Ian

SBA adds central and north Florida counties to disaster declaration for Hurricane Ian

 

 

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) announced the addition of several Florida counties to the disaster declaration for Hurricane Ian that began Sept. 23. This expands eligibility for more businesses and residents to apply for SBA’s low-interest disaster loan program. The SBA is opening a second and third Business Recovery Center, in Bonita Springs on Wednesday and in Naples on Thursday, to provide one-on-one assistance to those applying for a disaster loan.

The disaster declaration now covers Charlotte, Collier, DeSoto, Flagler, Hardee, Highlands, Hillsborough, Lake, Lee, Manatee, Orange, Osceola, Pinellas, Polk, Putnam, Saint Johns, Sarasota, Seminole and Volusia counties in Florida, which are eligible for both Physical and Economic Injury Disaster Loans from the SBA. Small businesses and most private nonprofit organizations in the following adjacent counties are eligible to apply only for SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDLs): Alachua, Bradford, Brevard, Broward, Clay, Duval, Glades, Hendry, Indian River, Marion, Miami-Dade, Monroe, Okeechobee, Pasco and Sumter in Florida.

SBA’s Lee County Business Recovery Center (BRC) will open at 10 a.m. Wednesday, Oct. 5 at The Hub at SWFL, Inc. in Bonita Springs. The Collier County BRC will begin operation at 11 a.m. Thursday at The Naples Players in Naples. All BRCs will remain open as indicated below until further notice:

 

 

SBA Customer Service Representatives will be available as indicated above to answer questions about the disaster loan program and assist business owners in completing their applications. Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the SBA has established protocols to help protect the health and safety of the public. All visitors to the BRCs are encouraged to wear a face mask.

Businesses and private nonprofit organizations of any size may borrow up to $2 million to repair or replace disaster-damaged or destroyed real estate, machinery and equipment, inventory, and other business assets.
For small businesses, small agricultural cooperatives, small businesses engaged in aquaculture and most private nonprofit organizations, the SBA offers Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDLs) to help meet working capital needs caused by the disaster. Economic Injury Disaster Loan assistance is available regardless of whether the business suffered any physical property damage.

Disaster loans up to $200,000 are available to homeowners to repair or replace disaster-damaged or destroyed real estate. Homeowners and renters are eligible for up to $40,000 to repair or replace disaster-damaged or destroyed personal property.
Building back smarter and stronger can be an effective recovery tool for future disasters. Applicants may be eligible for a loan amount increase of up to 20 percent of their physical damages, as verified by the SBA, for mitigation purposes. Eligible mitigation improvements may include a safe room or storm shelter, sump pump, elevation, retaining walls, and landscaping to help protect property and occupants from future damage caused by a similar disaster.

Interest rates are as low as 3.04 for businesses, 1.875 percent for nonprofit organizations, and 2.188 percent for homeowners and renters, with terms up to 30 years. Loan amounts and terms are set by the SBA and are based on each applicant’s financial condition.

Applicants may apply online using the Electronic Loan Application (ELA) via SBA’s secure website at https://disasterloanassistance.sba.gov/ela/s/ and should apply under SBA declaration # 17644.

To be considered for all forms of disaster assistance, applicants should register online at DisasterAssistance.gov or download the FEMA mobile app. If online or mobile access is unavailable, applicants should call the FEMA toll-free helpline at 800-621-3362. Those who use 711-Relay or Video Relay Services should call 800-621-3362.

Disaster loan information and application forms can also be obtained by calling the SBA’s Customer Service Center at 800-659-2955 (if you are deaf, hard of hearing, or have a speech disability, please dial 7-1-1 to access telecommunications relay services) or sending an email to [email protected]. Loan applications can also be downloaded from sba.gov/disaster. Completed applications should be mailed to: U.S. Small Business Administration, Processing and Disbursement Center, 14925 Kingsport Road, Fort Worth, TX 76155.

The filing deadline to return applications for physical property damage is Nov. 28, 2022. The deadline to return economic injury applications is June 29, 2023.

 

About the U.S. Small Business Administration

The U.S. Small Business Administration helps power the American dream of business ownership. As the only go-to resource and voice for small businesses backed by the strength of the federal government, the SBA empowers entrepreneurs and small business owners with the resources and support they need to start, grow or expand their businesses, or recover from a declared disaster. It delivers services through an extensive network of SBA field offices and partnerships with public and private organizations. To learn more, visit www.sba.gov.

 

 

Treasure Coast Business is a news service and magazine published in print, via e-newsletter and online at tcbusiness.com by Indian River Media Group. For more information or to report news email [email protected]
Oct. 10, 2022|

Emergency relief fund activated in wake of disaster

Emergency relief fund activated in wake of disaster

 

United Way of Florida has activated the Disaster Recovery Fund for those affected by Hurricane Ian.

As part of United Way’s mission to build stronger, more resilient, and equitable communities – and to support communities affected by Hurricane Ian – United Way has created the United Way Disaster Response and Recovery Fund to help local United Ways meet immediate storm-related needs and support long-term recovery throughout the affected regions.

“We know that many generous groups and individuals are looking to assist in repairing and rebuilding these communities devastated by Hurricane Ian,” said Meredith Egan, United Way of Indian River County CEO. “This collaboration will streamline and amplify the ability to quickly support the communities throughout the state who are victims of this once-in-a-century storm.”

One donation can benefit multiple communities or be directed to a specific need or location/county. To donate to the United Way of Florida Disaster Recover Fund or to contribute directly to a local United Way directly impacted by Hurricane Ian, please visit https://www.uwof.org/disaster-recovery-fund. One hundred percent of all gifts will go to the relief effort. Any unspent funds will be used toward any future disasters that strike.Local residents needing resources should call 2-1-1. This is United Way’s free information and referral hotline, available 24 hours, seven days a week to connect callers to emergency resources, including disaster-relief efforts.

 

 

About United Way of Indian River County

United Way of Indian River County (UWIRC) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that fights for the health, education, and financial stability of every community member. United Way works with local programs to provide resources to individuals and families in crisis today while working year-round to improve community conditions and create lasting solutions. We are effectively building a solid foundation and improving lives by mobilizing the caring power of our community. For more information about your local United Way, please call (772) 567-8900 or visit our website, UnitedWayIRC.org.

 

 

Treasure Coast Business is a news service and magazine published in print, via e-newsletter and online at tcbusiness.com by Indian River Media Group. For more information or to report news email [email protected]
Oct. 10, 2022|

 Help Family Promise of Martin County buy a “home” of its own

 Help Family Promise of Martin County buy a “home” of its own

 

Emmanuel and Carmen, a former guest family that was served by Family Promise

The mission of Family Promise of Martin County, a non-profit, interfaith hospitality network, is to provide temporary housing, caring support, meals and a host of social services for families with children experiencing homelessness.

The housing takes place in local religious congregations that have joined in a consortium to support the guests who turn to – or are referred to – Family Promise of Martin County.

The heart and soul of the non-profit is its Family Center, which is open Mondays-Fridays from 8 a.m.- 5 p.m. An on-site Family Service Coordinator, April Young, works with guests to develop an individualized plan to help them regain permanent housing and self-sufficiency. The Center also has laundry and shower facilities, as well as phone and Internet access for employment searches.

It’s the hub from which transportation to work, school, job interviews and medical appointments is offered by the Family Promise driver and van or public transportation.

Now, in a stroke of almost divine intervention, the building in Stuart from which the nonprofit (which was established in 2018 and opened its doors in Nov. 2020) has operated is available for purchase.

Madeleine Bozone Greenwood, Executive Director of Family Promise of Martin County, says the building fits their needs in virtually every way. “It’s close to stores, transportation, parks, medical facilities, just about anything our guests may need, even if they don’t have their own transportation.”

Adds Cher Fisher, Director of Development & Community Engagement, “We’ve got a gathering place for families, two offices, two bathrooms, a reception area, kitchen, laundry, garden with kids’ playground and a storage room for our guests to use. It’s perfect.”

The current asking price is $350,000. Family Promise has $40,000 that has been donated towards its purchase and is engaging in its first Capital Campaign to raise the balance.

Naming rights are available if you’d like to direct a contribution towards a specific room or part of the Center and plans are being developed for opportunities like personalized brick pavers.

Family Promise, which is an affiliate of a national 501(c)(3) organization with a 35-plus year successful track record, is helping change lives every day. But as Bozone likes to assure people, “Every cent we raise stays right here in Martin County. As a matter of fact, the way the national organization is structured, they return funds to the local affiliates – the opposite of many similar non-profits.”

Since it’s opened, Family Promise has served 288 families.

If you’d like to find out more about Family Promise or how your contribution can help them purchase their own “dream home” from which to service guests, visit www.mcfamilypromise.org or call 772-266-9327.

 

 

Treasure Coast Business is a news service and magazine published in print, via e-newsletter and online at tcbusiness.com by Indian River Media Group. For more information or to report news email [email protected]

 

Oct. 10, 2022|

Oceanside Rotary honors hometown surgeon Sarbak for humanitarianism

Oceanside Rotary honors hometown surgeon Sarbak for humanitarianism

 

Sandra Lilo, DDS, pins John Sarbak, MD with the Paul Harris Fellow medal.

 

The Rotary Club of Vero Beach Oceanside presented hometown surgeon, John Sarbak, MD, with the Paul Harris Fellow award on behalf of Sandra Lilo, DDS, RotoCleft volunteer and member of Seminole Lakes Rotary Club, at their Sept. 13 meeting.

The Paul Harris Fellow recognizes individuals who make substantial contributions to Rotary and its foundation. Dr. Sarbak received the award for his annual work with RotoCleft, which is currently a part of and operated by the Rotary Club of Seminole Lake Foundation. 

RotoCleft organizes and funds a yearly surgical mission to provide free corrective surgery for children suffering from cleft lip and cleft palate deformities in the Quechuan Indian population in Peru; the area has a very high incidence of cleft palate deformities. This condition is associated with hearing loss, speech difficulty, ear infections, food intake and dental problems. A team of approximately 25 surgeons, anesthesiologist, nurses, non-medical volunteers and bi-lingual facilitators perform up to 35 surgical procedures in a three-day period. The team donates five days and the expense of the trip.  

Dr. Lilo stated, “Dr. Sarbak joined the RotoCleft team in 1999 as a resident and is an anchor for the team and patients. He gives his time and pays his own expenses so these kids can have a chance at life. His generosity and talent are a key reason we have been so successful in providing care to this underserved population.” 

 

Treasure Coast Business is a news service and magazine published in print, via e-newsletter and online at tcbusiness.com by Indian River Media Group. For more information or to report news email [email protected]
Sep. 30, 2022|

Wes McCurry to join St. Lucie EDC

Wes McCurry to join St. Lucie EDC

 

 

The City of Port St. Lucie’s community development director, Wesley McCurry, will join the Economic Development Council of St. Lucie County (EDC) as its senior vice president in November. He will lead the organization’s business attraction and retention activities.

McCurry has overseen the rapid development of Port St. Lucie’s jobs corridor since 2018. Prior to that he led planning, development and operations for Tradition on behalf of Fishkind & Associates and as president of the Tradition Development Company. He was also vice president and planning director for Core Communities during the master planning phase of Tradition, transforming 10,000 acres of dying orchards and fallow land into one of St. Lucie County’s most dynamic communities.

“The EDC is exceptionally fortunate to have Wes join our team,” said EDC President Pete Tesch.  “We’ve worked side-by-side during his tenure as Port St. Lucie’s community development director and his time with Tradition Development Company to ensure that employers receive professional, high-quality assistance in locating or expanding their facilities in Port St. Lucie. Now, Wes will be available to ably assist in the recruitment of these highly-sought-after companies as well.”

“I have enjoyed seeing the long-planned vision of a jobs corridor along I-95 begin take place over the past four and a half years with the city,” McCurry said. “I am looking forward to continuing these efforts on a larger scale with the EDC and its economic development partnerships to accelerate job retention, creation and economic growth throughout St. Lucie County.”

Port St. Lucie City Manager Russ Blackburn acknowledged McCurry’s significant contributions to the city’s prosperity in a Sept. 26 announcement about the move. “The city’s success in planning and selling land for economic development projects in the Southern Grove jobs corridor is due in part to Wes’s knowledge and tireless efforts,” said Blackburn 

McCurry served as chairman of the EDC’s board of directors in 2018. He graduated from the University of Tennessee with a degree in urban studies and is a member of the Urban Land Institute where he has served on the Community Development Green Council and the International Council of Shopping Centers.  He and his wife Ana have one son. 

About the Economic Development Council of St. Lucie County

The EDC is a private, not-for-profit organization dedicated to promoting economic vitality in St. Lucie County through the attraction, retention and expansion of businesses in the community.  The EDC works in partnership with local governments and the private sector to advance its goals of creating more and better-paying jobs for residents, broadening the tax base and improving St. Lucie County’s economic quality of life.  Contact the EDC at 772.336.6250 or www.youredc.com

 

Treasure Coast Business is a news service and magazine published in print, via e-newsletter and online at tcbusiness.com by Indian River Media Group. For more information or to report news email [email protected]
Sep. 30, 2022|

Catch The Wave of Hope helps educate area nonprofits

Catch The Wave of Hope helps educate area nonprofits

Brandon Battle, Case Manager, Boys & Girls Clubs of MC Indiantown Club; Sarah Henry, Community Development Director of CTWH and Patricia Brown, 21st Century Director, Boys & Girls Clubs of MC Indiantown Club

 

Catch the Wave of Hope (CTWH), the 501(c)(3) with the mission to prevent the sex trafficking of children through awareness, education, restoration and legislation, was honored by Kiwanis Club of Stuart as its Sept. nonprofit of the month.

Sarah Henry, Community Development Director of CTWH, gave a presentation on “Sex Trafficking 101”. She shared tools on how to identify, report and be aware of this heinous issue in Martin County and how members can safeguard themselves and their children.

Henry also accepted a generous monetary donation from Kiwanis Club of Stuart.

The Boys & Girls Clubs of Martin County invited Catch the Wave of Hope to do a “Two-Minute Teach” to parents and families at student pickups. Henry talked about child exploitation and sex trafficking and distributed flyers and cards with a human trafficking hotline number and information on CWTH, its mission, vision, therapy services and how to protect their children.

Henry interacted with more than 100 families at the Hobe Sound, Port Salerno, Palm City and Indiantown Clubs.

Although most people are certain they know the telltale signs of sex trafficking, they’re often shocked when they are introduced to reality. Henry is available to speak to groups of any size and age to share the information and tips that Catch the Wave of Hope has amassed. Contact her at www.catchthewaveofhope.org.

 

Treasure Coast Business is a news service and magazine published in print, via e-newsletter and online at tcbusiness.com by Indian River Media Group. For more information or to report news email [email protected]
Sep. 30, 2022|

Bank of America study says offering financial wellness tools increases employee retention

Bank of America study finds 84% of employers say offering financial wellness tools increases employee retention

97% of employers feel responsible for employee financial wellness, with 91% seeing higher employee satisfaction when offering resources to manage overall wellbeing

BOA Logo

Bank of America announced findings from its 12th annual Workplace Benefits Report, Navigating a New Era of Financial Wellness.” The report revealed that 84% of employers now say that offering financial wellness tools can help reduce employee attrition, and 81% say wellness tools help attract higher quality employees. This is critical to employers, as 46% have seen an increase in resignations over the past year. In addition, approximately one in three employees have switched jobs or thought about switching jobs in the past year.

The report also explored the impact of the current economic and inflationary environment on employees’ financial wellness, revealing that 62% of employees are stressed about their finances. In addition, 80% of employees are concerned about inflation, and 71% feel the cost of living is outpacing growth in their salary or wages. This is having an impact on employees overall feeling of financial wellness. After the percentage of employees who feel financially well bounced above pre-pandemic levels in February 2022 (57% .vs 55% in 2019), the percentage dropped to a 5-year low of 44% in July 2022.

“Offering comprehensive benefits and wellness programs can be critical for employers looking to reduce attrition, can empower employees to take control of their personal finances, and improve employee satisfaction,” said Lorna Sabbia, Head of Retirement and Personal Wealth Solutions at Bank of America. “We are committed to partnering with employers to provide financial wellness solutions through a holistic and integrated approach that’s actionable for every employee.”

Based on a nationwide survey of 824 employees and 846 employers conducted in February, and a second survey of 478 employees conducted in July, the Workplace Benefits Report examines trends related to workplace financial benefits and wellness programs.

Employers are embracing financial wellness programs and expanding support

In response to increased stress about financial wellness, employers continue to embrace programs to expand support for their employees. For example, 91% of employers see higher employee satisfaction when they offer resources to manage overall wellbeing. Other top employer findings include:

  • Employers feel an increased sense of responsibility for the financial wellness of employees. 97% of employers feel responsible for employee financial wellness (up from 95% in 2021, and from 41% in 2013) – with two-thirds (62%) going as far to say they feel extremely responsible (up from 56% in 2021). Employees agree with this sentiment, as 82% say employers should play a role in supporting their financial wellness.
  • Wellness programs result in tangible benefits for employers and employees. 80% of employers agree that offering financial wellness support can result in more satisfied, loyal, engaged and productive employees. Employers who take it a step further and broaden their wellness programs to include mental and physical wellness resources are seeing noticeable improvements in productivity (50%), employee stress (43%), employee morale (41%) and employee creativity and innovation (36%).
  • Equity grants are powerful recruitment and retention incentives. 76% of employers believe equity compensation is a differentiator for employee recruitment and retention, and 44% of employees who participate in equity compensation plans say it was an important reason for accepting the job.
  • Health care remains an opportunity. 84% of employers feel very responsible for their employees’ understanding of retirement healthcare needs and costs, and 89% of employers who offer Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) contribute to their employees’ savings. Healthcare education is an opportunity, with only 54% of employers communicating about these topics at least once a year.
  • Access to investment advice. With four-in-ten employees saying they want access to advice from an investment professional, 62% of employers are now offering employees access to investment advice services (up from 55% in 2021).
  • Heightened focus on D&I programs. 74% of employers believe that diversity and inclusion programs are important for retaining talent, and half (50%) of employers currently offer diversity and inclusion programs.

Employees seeking programs to help alleviate financial strain and plan for the future

Employees express uncertainty about current economic conditions and are taking actions to relieve financial strain:

  • Employees are dipping into savings due to financial strain. Half of employees have taken action in the last six months due to financial strain, including tapping into emergency savings (21%), working additional hours (21%), looking for higher paying jobs (20%) and taking out a 401(k) hardship withdrawal (6%).
  • Retirement remains a top concern, driving action. As of July 2022, 56% of employees are confident they will reach their retirement goals, down from 69% in February 2022. Seventy-four percent say investing in their 401(k) and other accounts will help them build a retirement nest egg, and 61% are contributing enough to maximize their employer match.
  • Education about Social Security is an opportunity. Only 38% of employees say they understand social security benefits. Even among Baby Boomers, 41% still do not understand social security. While 48% of employees indicate they are not getting enough education about the program, only 40% of employers offer employees social security support and education.
  • Employees are more optimistic about their intermediate, longer term future. When looking at the next 2-3 years, most employees said they felt optimistic about their financial (56%), social (60%), and mental (62%) well-being.
  • Digital tools play a key role in driving employee engagement. Employees are seeking out digital tools that offer personalized support, and employees find tools that can provide streamlined information and help track and set financial goals most useful. Fifty-two percent of employees prefer to use a digital app to manage their finances.

Financial wellness levels vary based on employees’ ethnicity, gender and generation

Employees continue to show differences in financial wellness when viewed by gender, ethnicity or generation. Though the financial wellness gap has closed for women, it has expanded for minorities since February. Top findings include:

  • Women lag men but are closing the gap when planning for long-term goals.Women continue to trail men in their feelings about financial wellness and preparedness. For example, 54% of men and 69% of women do not understand social security benefits. Despite this, the financial wellness gender gap is closing. As of July 2022, women were less likely to feel financially well than men by five percentage points (42% of women .vs 47% of men), down from 10 percentage points in 2021 (47% of women .vs 57% of men) and 17 percentage points in 2020 (41% of women .vs 58% of men).
  • Minorities have seen a greater negative impact to their feelings of financial wellness. Employees across various ethnicities reported significant drops in their perceptions of financial wellness, with minorities reporting more significant declines. For example, 49% of White/Caucasian employees feel financially well (compared with 56% in February), followed by 37% of Asian employees (67% in February), 33% of Hispanic/Latino employees (47% in February) and 32% of Black/African American employees (50% in February).
  • Feelings of financial wellness have declined across generations this year. Since February, feelings of financial wellness have declined significantly across generations, with Gen Z/Millennials at -15%, Gen Xers at -14% and Baby Boomers/Silent Generation at -10%.

Bank of America’s Retirement & Personal Wealth Solutions organization serves more than 26,000 companies of all sizes and more than 5.9 million employees as of December 31, 20211. Bank of America offers institutional client employees a range of financial benefit programs and solutions to help them pursue their financial future.

More findings, including action steps for employers, are available in the Bank of America 2022 Workplace Benefits Report.

Workplace Benefits Report Methodology

Escalent surveyed a national sample of 834 employees who are working full-time and participate in 401(k) plans, and 846 employers who offer both a 401(k) plan and have sole or shared responsibility for decisions made in the plan. The survey was conducted between February 3, 2022 and February 28, 2022. To qualify for the survey, employees had to be current participants of a 401(k) plan and employers had to offer a 401(k) plan option. Neither was required to work with Bank of America. Bank of America was not identified as the sponsor of the study. Bank of America Retirement & Personal Wealth Solutions help employers and employees to take action and work toward their financial goals today and into retirement.

July 2022 Pulse Study Methodology

Escalent surveyed a national sample of 478 employees who are working full-time and participate in 401(k) plans. The survey was conducted between July 5, 2022 and July 19, 2022. To qualify for the survey, employees had to be current participants of a 401(k) plan. They weren’t required to work with Bank of America. Bank of America was not identified as the sponsor of the study. Bank of America Retirement and Personal Wealth Solutions help employers and employees to take action and work toward their financial goals today and into retirement.

Financial Wellness at Bank of America

At Bank of America, we know that supporting the physical, financial and emotional wellbeing of our employees in their personal life also supports them in their work life — so they can be the best at work and at home. When it comes to financial wellness, we believe that the more informed people are about their money, the clearer their financial outlook can be. This applies not just to our clients, but to our employees, as well. This is why we offer robust financial offerings to our employees that focus on driving better behaviors across life priorities and the financial spectrum — budgeting, planning, saving, investing and more. Our competitive financial benefits – including 401(k) plans that include a company match, retirement advice2, health savings accounts3, banking4 and investing5 programs, educational resources and financial wellness tools – help employees address money issues in the here-and-now, prepare for retirement and help protect their family over the long term.

Bank of America

Bank of America is one of the world’s leading financial institutions, serving individual consumers, small and middle-market businesses and large corporations with a full range of banking, investing, asset management and other financial and risk management products and services. The company provides unmatched convenience in the United States, serving approximately 67 million consumer and small business clients with approximately 4,000 retail financial centers, approximately 16,000 ATMs and award-winning digital banking with approximately 55 million verified digital users. Bank of America is a global leader in wealth management, corporate and investment banking and trading across a broad range of asset classes, serving corporations, governments, institutions and individuals around the world. Bank of America offers industry-leading support to approximately 3 million small business households through a suite of innovative, easy-to-use online products and services. The company serves clients through operations across the United States, its territories and approximately 35 countries. Bank of America Corporation stock (ATMs) is listed on the New York Stock Exchange.

 

Treasure Coast Business is a news service and magazine published in print, via e-newsletter and online at tcbusiness.com by Indian River Media Group. For more information or to report news email [email protected]
Sep. 30, 2022|