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New Financial Training Cohort Will Provide Pittsburgh with 15 New Accredited Financial Counselors (AFC)

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Neighborhood Allies has partnered with Pittsburgh Community Services, Inc. (PCSI) to invest in an inaugural cohort of aspiring financial professionals who will use their skills to give back to the community. The addition of Accredited Financial Counselors to social service agencies throughout the city will build capacity within organizations and allow staff to more fully address clients’ spectrum of financial needs.

The training cohort gathered at the kickoff event.

Financial coaching is becoming an in-demand profession in the Pittsburgh region. From social service providers who seek to offer their clients more sustainable solutions, to those who want to make better-informed decisions that impact their own families’ situation, financial professionals such as counselors and coaches have multiple outlets to improve the wellbeing of those around them.

 “In addition to providing higher quality service to your clients, an organization can leverage AFC training as a professional development opportunity for motivated workers. An organization that invests in their workers and offers them opportunities to excel and grow benefits from higher retention rates and more satisfied employees.”

-Vanessa Buffry, Economic Opportunity Consultant, Neighborhood Allies

Accredited Financial Counselor® (AFC®) training and certification ensures that professionals are able to guide clients through life-cycle financial education, help them realize their goals and achieve lasting financial well-being. Accredited Financial Counselors are able to:

  • Educate clients in sound financial principles.
  • Assist clients in the process of overcoming their financial indebtedness.
  • Help clients identify and modify ineffective money management behaviors.
  • Guide clients in developing successful strategies for achieving their financial goals.
  • Help clients develop new perspectives on the dynamics of money in relation to family, friends and individual self-esteem.

Supported by a funding award from PCSI, Neighborhood Allies recently welcomed 15 participants representing 9 social services to our inaugural cohort! To become certified financial counselors, these 15 participants will complete online coursework (which entails about a year of part-time study), 1000 hours of client time (which broadly includes any time seeing clients about personal finances), and pass an exam. In addition, the cohort will meet regularly to provide support and accountability, and to enhance learning outcomes.

Stay tuned for updates on the progress of our cohort! Learn more about becoming an Accredited Financial Counselor, job outcomes, and course requirements here.

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