MADISON, Wis. (3/2/10)--Despite predictions that credit unions would stay home and wait out the recession, the Credit Union Development Education (DE) training class scheduled for April 14-21 is already half-full. The first of this year’s DE training classes will have a new location: The Lowell Center, part of the University of Wisconsin-Extension in Madison, Wis. “DE Training in 2010 will incorporate emerging economic discussions while continuing to provide critical lessons in cooperative principles and credit union philosophy, all of which is applied to domestic and international development issues” said Tom Decker, DE training facilitator and director of social impact management for the National Credit Union Foundation (NCUF). "We plan to show this year’s trainees how the member-centric business model, as well as the principles of cooperative social responsibility, will enable credit unions to weather the economic storm better than most for-profit institutions,” he said. DE training is open to everyone. Participants will:
* Learn skills in credit union outreach initiatives, problem solving, technical assistance, team building, and public presentations; * Become certified as Credit Union Development Educators (CUDEs) and join a networking group of more than 1,000 graduates across America and in more than 30 other countries; * Realize that local issues are indeed global--and that global issues are local; * Understand that credit unions grow stronger by working cooperatively; and * Return to their jobs with new understanding of how to promote cooperative principles and credit union values as distinct advantages in today’s competitive financial services marketplace.
“All financial institutions offer a commodity,” said 2008 graduate Lily Newfarmer, CUDE and president/CEO of Tarrant County CU, Fort Worth, Texas. “We are all trying to get the same loans, checking accounts, etc. What sets credit unions apart from our fierce competition are our cooperative principles and credit union philosophy. If we don’t embrace these differences and show our members that we’re better because we’re unique, our very existence is in jeopardy.” Scholarships are available through DE Educational Fund and through several state credit union foundations and leagues. Credit union advocates interested in a scholarship can contact their state foundation or league, or contact Decker at firstname.lastname@example.org
or 800-356-9655, ext. 4374. A list of states confirming DE scholarships is posted on the NCUF website. Use the resource link. NCUF is the primary sponsor of the DE program. Support is provided by CUNA Mutual Group, the Credit Union National Association, the World Council of Credit Unions, state foundations and leagues.