Heartland Credit Union (HCU) (Hutchinson, KS) is partnering with Coopera Consulting to expand their efforts to the Spanish-speaking community with the support of a Community Development grant from the Foundation along with a grant from the National Credit Union Foundation.
"Our Board has adopted a global ends policy that calls for members and potential members to be financially literate and financially independent. Partnering with HCUCF is allowing us to discover the potential with the Spanish-speaking community and to understand the needs of those who are more often unbanked or underbanked. The research we are starting with Coopera will not only help us understand the market's needs and product usage, but will also bring to light financial disparities that Hispanics face in our region of Kansas, and perhaps in our own membership as well." Michelle Waln, HCU
In the past few years, HCU has purposefully taken small steps to start positioning its credit union to serve the Hispanic community. HCU hired several bilingual employees in specific member-facing positions at the credit union. They also pay an hourly differential to bilingual employees to encourage them to use their skills. Their branches in Hutchinson are located in close proximity to Southwest Bricktown Park in a traditionally Hispanic neighborhood. With the help of funding from HCUCF in previous years, HCU built a playground in that park.