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RACINE – Last week, the Racine Financial Empowerment Center (FEC) was announced as one of the recipients of the 2021 Governor’s Financial Literacy Awards, by Governor Tony Evers. The 2021 Governor’s Financial Literacy Awards honored recipients in one of three categories – individual, organization, or legacy – for providing exceptional financial literacy and capability skills education in an inclusive and innovative manner. The Racine FEC was honored in the organization category.

The City of Racine FEC is the first and only FEC in the State of Wisconsin and is an official City of Racine service, offered in partnership with local nonprofit Housing Resources, Inc. (HRI). The Racine FEC is part of the FEC Replication Initiative, led by national partner and funder, the Cities for Financial Empowerment Fund (CFE Fund).

Financial Empowerment Center
Certificate from Governor Tony Evers – Credit: City of Racine FEC

“The Racine FEC is a central piece of the City’s efforts to empower our residents, address longstanding disparities, prepare residents for successful homeownership, and help transform residents’ financial futures. Professional, one-on-one financial counseling works, and I’m thrilled to see the outcomes the Racine FEC is already achieving, after barely a year. The City especially appreciates the great work our partners at HRI are doing to help make the Racine FEC so successful. I’m honored that the Governor and his Council on Financial Literacy and Capability have chosen the Racine FEC for this award.”

Mayor Cory Mason, City of Racine

Racine Financial Empowerment Center

The Racine Financial Empowerment Center is the result of more than a year of meticulous planning and fundraising. The center opened virtually on Dec. 7, 2020, during the COVID-19 pandemic. They have continued working with residents virtually throughout this time as a measure of safety for all involved.

The Racine FEC has seen nearly 200 clients in its inaugural year, making a tremendous impact within the City of Racine. Residents collectively have been able to reduce debt by close to $200,000, increase savings by nearly $80,000, resolve over 80 delinquent accounts, and raise credit scores in the process. In fact, dozens have reported an increase of more than 35 points.

Financial Counselors work with city residents to provide free, confidential financial counseling services. All of the counselors are professionally trained and certified by the National Foundation for Credit Counseling (NFCC).The services offered by Racine FEC help clients improve credit, reduce debt, build savings, access safe and affordable banking products, and achieve their financial goals.

By utilizing the Racine FEC, residents are able to address their financial challenges and achieve financial goals. Appointments for this free service can be made on the Racine Financial Empowerment Center website or by calling 262-200-0831.

About the City of Racine

With a population of 78,000, Racine, Wis. is the fifth largest municipality in the state of Wisconsin. It is home to manufacturing businesses that enjoy worldwide reputations, SC Johnson, CNH Industrial, Twin Disc, Modine, and In-Sink-Erator among them. Racine is also home to diverse cultures, a thriving downtown, and world-class beaches along the shores of Lake Michigan.

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