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WOCCU extends leadership program for second year
MADISON, Wis. (1/25/13)--The World Council of Credit Unions is extending its International Credit Union Leadership Program to a second year, offering emerging leaders from Brazil, Costa Rica and the U.S. intensive short-term credit union internships to broaden their professional expertise.

"The first year of the International Credit Union Leadership Program proved to be an eye-opening and transformational experience for both the interns and their host credit unions," said Brian Branch, WOCCU president/CEO.

The program facilitates idea exchanges, promotes foreign language skills and cultural diversity, and improves problem-solving skills related to credit union development and management globally. Participating U.S. credit union leaders will learn about methods to better serve an increasingly diverse membership, including youth, low-income and Hispanic members, WOCCU said.

The program also will allow credit union professionals from Brazil and Costa Rica to work alongside U.S. credit unions' counterparts to find solutions to similar challenges. The International Credit Union Leadership Program is part of the U.S. Department of State's Professional Fellows Program and is funded by a grant from the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, Office of Citizen Exchanges.

The program offers internship opportunities to 24 participants from the U.S., 12 from Brazil and 12 from Costa Rica through an open application and interview process that evaluates applicants' leadership skills, adaptability to new surroundings and potential to initiate change in their credit unions.

Ideal participants have intermediate Spanish-language skills. The first application process for 12 U.S. participants to intern in Costa Rica June 16 to 29 will open this April. The next internship opportunity for 12 U.S. participants will take place in Brazil in January 2014.
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