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  • Training Is a Key Part of the Process

    Posted by on May 21, 2013

    Implementing a successful Hispanic outreach program takes more than just translating a credit union’s marketing materials and collateral. As the employees of Fitzsimmons Federal Credit Union (FFCU) of Aurora, Colo., have discovered, training is a key part of the process.

    Taking advantage of Coopera’s expertise in both the credit union and Hispanic markets, FFCU has put an emphasis on training its staff over the last year. The goal? To strengthen the credit union’s internal infrastructure to better serve Hispanic members today and in the future.

    These efforts have included:
    – Regular attendance of Coopera’s Hispanic-outreach webinars
    – Bi-monthly staff meetings
    – Utilizing Coopera’s resource library
    – Monthly consulting with the Coopera client services team
    – Adding bilingual employees

    “We have made a commitment at every level of our credit union — the Board of Directors, executive management and staff — to learn as much as we can about the Hispanic community, particularly their financial needs,” said Sandy Neves, president and CEO, FFCU. “Through training, we have also come to understand how to apply what we know to each and every member interaction.”

    Through these efforts, FFCU has come to realize why training is such a necessary part of implementing a successful Hispanic outreach program. “We knew we had to get our internal structure in place before we could reach out to the Hispanic community. Coopera’s trainings are really comprehensive, and we are learning so much,” said Neves.

    “Training has definitely kept our staff engaged, focused and excited during the implementation process,” added Neves. “And, we’re realizing that everything we’ve learned will help all our members, not just Hispanic members.”

    It’s not only Neves and her management team who are impressed with the results. Here’s what FFCU’s employees have said about the benefits of training:

    “I speak Spanish a little bit, so I am somewhat familiar with the language, and I have been viewing the webinars from Coopera. I think they are a great resource, and all staff should view these webinars.”

    I believe having more Coopera training would be helpful. The webinars have been great resources.”

    “Partnering with Coopera has been very beneficial in guiding the credit union in preparing to enter the Hispanic market.”

    “We have received a wealth of resources from Coopera that will assist us.”

    “The Coopera webinars provide a lot of additional information and are a useful guide to the Hispanic Outreach Program.”

    “I appreciate continued education about the Hispanic culture, specific products and services and language. We are gaining this through our partnership with Coopera.”

    Neves noted that Coopera has learned a lot from FFCU through the training process too. “They ask us a lot of questions about our local market and have gained a better understanding of our Hispanics’ unique cultural and financial needs,” she said.

    And, according to Neves, this insight has allowed Coopera to better help FFCU tailor its approach to their local market. This is particularly important when it comes to breaking down any barriers or misunderstandings FFCU’s local Hispanic community might have about the U.S. financial system or how to highlight the credit union advantage.

    Leading up to the implementation of FFCU’s Hispanic outreach initiatives, the credit union also engaged Coopera to conduct a Hispanic Opportunity Navigator and marketing analysis, as well as perform translation services and make the El Poder es Tuyo website available to members.

    “Hispanics aren’t just another demographic,” said Neves. “Growing our Hispanic membership base is central to our current and future growth strategies. We could not have done this without Coopera’s help.”

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