Director Cordray spoke at the Financial Literacy and Education Commission (FLEC) Field Hearing this week, emphasizing the federal government’s role as the nation’s single largest employer. In order to lead by example, Director Cordray described how the CFPB has been working with the Office of Personnel Management and the Department of Labor to encourage and assist other federal agencies in developing robust financial education plans for their employees. He stated that the next step is to implement these financial education plans at other federal government agencies, just as the CFPB is in the process of doing with its own financial education plan for employees of the CFPB.
Innovative approaches to promoting financial education for young people was the topic at the last FLEC public meeting, during which Director Cordray agreed to help the FLEC coordinate financial education programs with state and local leaders. This led to the State Engagement Project, which is designed to gather input from state policymakers on resources and information that would be most helpful in incorporating youth financial education into state programs. Director Cordray called this an “excellent opportunity” for federal agencies to partner with states to expand K-12 financial education and to develop hands-on financial learning programs. He further stated that it is “critical” that the federal government work closely with state and local partners to increase access to financial education for young people.
Director Cordray’s comments are a continuation of the CFPB’s focus on the importance of financial literacy. At the last FLEC hearing, Director Cordray called for public and private sector businesses and organizations to help employees with their financial lives. He stated that implementing financial education programs is the “smart thing for their employees and their businesses.” The CFPB also announced plans to launch a new Community Financial Education Project, hoping to make public libraries vital financial education hubs in communities across the country.