STATE COLLEGE - Earlier this year, in recognition of its efforts to increase financial literacy within its workforce, the Centre Area Transportation Authority was awarded one of nine WLIFE (Workplace Leader in Financial Education) awards granted by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the Society for Human Resource Management.
As part of the recognition CATA received for its efforts, CATA General Manager Hugh Mose and Human Resources Manager Julie Hartley were invited to the New York Stock Exchange, where they joined other winners as the stock exchange kicked off its celebration of Financial Literacy Week on April 9. Mose participated in the ringing of the opening bell.
"We strongly believe that financial education should be part of any wellness program provided within an organization, and it should be made available to all employees," said CATA Human Resource Manager, Julie Hartley. "It's an honor to be recognized at a national level for our efforts to help our employees make better financial decisions, and to have been invited to the New York Stock Exchange to take part in such an iconic event."
Hugh Mose, CATA’s general manager, sixth from right, stands with a group that rang the bell at the New York Stock Exchange on April 9.
CATA began its wellness initiative three years ago in an effort to trim healthcare costs. However, it quickly became clear that due to the difficult economic times, employees were undergoing increased financial stress. To address this aspect of employee well-being, CATA incorporated financial literacy into its wellness program using various educational tactics, including annual employee training sessions on financial topics and two offerings of a voluntary, 12-week, in-depth financial management program.
The WLIFE award was created in 2011 by AICPA and SHRM to highlight the importance of financial wellness in the workplace. It is the first national honor for employers who provide financial education programs that improve the personal well-being of employees. The nine winning organizations stood out because their financial education programs showed innovation, effective tactics, a significant scope in increasing employee financial wellness and results.
Other winners, representing the corporate, not-for-profit and government sectors, include such entities as American Express, New York Presbyterian Hospital, UA Healthcare and NYSE Euronext.
For information on how employers can develop their own financial education programs, visit www.wlife.org.