Common Wealth Charlotte Names New Executive Director November 2018

Growing nonprofit on pace to serve 5,000 clients this year as grants increase

Charlotte, N.C., Nov. 15, 2018 -- Common Wealth Charlotte (CWC), a nonprofit organization that serves Charlotte's low-income wage earners through financial literacy education and access to non-predatory financial services, has named Chuck Jones its new executive director. Jones succeeds Darren Ash, who founded Common Wealth Charlotte in 2014 and continues to serve as a board member.

"Chuck is deeply committed to the improvement of our community and brings a depth of business experience and innovative ideas that will be invaluable as we take the next steps in our mission," said Cristy Travaglino, board chair of Common Wealth Charlotte. "We are delighted that he has accepted this new responsibility."

A 31-year resident of Charlotte, Jones joined Common Wealth Charlotte in early 2017 and previously served as its director of financial services. Prior to that, he served as [..] read more

How Goodwill is taking new approach to Charlotte's economic mobility issue June 2018

Charlotte Business Journal By Alex Sands -- If Charlotte is going to raise its dead-last ranking in economic mobility for a major U.S. city, people need more than just a steady paycheck.

To climb out of generational poverty, there needs to be steadiness in multiple dimensions of life, according to researchers from Goodwill Industries of the Southern Piedmont. The research identified five pillars of stability -- health and well-being, family and individual stability, financial preparedness, skills development and career progression -- and concluded that without one, future success could be compromised.
With that in mind, Goodwill has taken a new approach to the economic mobility problem.

The Economic Mobility Collaborative, a three-year pilot program launched last June, focuses on long-term support and guidance through emerging challenges. Fourteen people are currently enrolled in the EMC's first cohort. These members have personal coaches and [..] read more

Charlotte Nonprofit Takes Aim at Financial Literacy January 2018

Charlotte Magazine By Greg Lacour -- The other night, over cheap domestic beer, I was chatting with a friend about money. She's not rich. Neither am I. But we both grew up in middle-class households, where it was assumed that at some point, well before adulthood, you'd learn the essentials of stewardship of your own money: You'd open a savings account, learn what interest is, and grasp the basic principle that you ought to put some money aside for when you might need it rather than spend it as you get it.

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Why It's So Hard to Get Ahead in the South April 2017

CHARLOTTE--Shamelle Jackson moved here from Philadelphia, hoping to find work opportunities and better schools for her four children, who range in age from two to 14. Instead, she found a city with expensive housing, few good jobs, and schools that can vary dramatically in quality. "I've never struggled as hard as I do here in Charlotte," Jackson, 34, told me.

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The Real Reason that Payday and Title Loans are a Massive Problem September 2016

New research from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau shows just how easy it is for cash-strapped borrowers to get sucked into a vehicle title loan debt trap.

Auto title loans share many of the same nefarious qualities that have made their cousin, the payday loan, such a hot target for regulators. Both products are fueled by triple-digit interest rates (except in states where they are either banned or have specific interest rate caps) and are issued without taking into account the borrower's ability to repay the loan. While payday lenders use a borrower's proof of income (like a pay stub) to underwrite their loan, auto title lenders use a borrower's car as collateral.

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How to Move 33,000 People Out of Poverty in Charlotte August 2016

What if someone told you Charlotte could lift 33,000 of its residents out of financial distress, cutting the poverty rate by 25 percent?
Nice dream, many would say.

After all, our number of people in poverty grew faster than the overall population from 2009 to 2014. This despite the fact that the regional economy expanded by $15 billion in that time.

Still, researchers at the Center for Neighborhood Technology say that 25 percent reduction is not a pipe dream.

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CWC Supports Efforts of the Ark in Athens, GA to Establish Common Wealth Athens February 2016

When a low-wage worker with little to no savings comes face to face with an emergency expense, there aren't a lot of options to acquire funds to pay the bill.

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CWC Speaks at Goodwill Opportunity Campus Groundbreaking January 2016

Goodwill Opportunity Campus announces partnership with Common Wealth Charlotte

Goodwill Industries of the Southern Piedmont announced Thursday that four nonprofits will open full-time offices at its new $22 million Opportunity Campus, a groundbreaking project in west Charlotte that will house job training, job placement and job creation enterprises spread across 18.5 acres.

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SVP Awards Common Wealth Charlotte a Three Year Grant October 2015

Social Venture Partners (SVP) of Charlotte awarded Common Wealth Charlotte a three year, start-up grant that totals $100,000. SVP is a global network of local partners aligning passion and purpose. SVP helps individuals realize greater impact with their giving, strengthens non-profits, and invests in collaborative solutions. Common Wealth Charlotte will use the grant funding to build capacity and t o further refine its ground-breaking social impact model. [..] read more

Points of Light Grant brings 2 VISTA volunteers to Common Wealth Charlotte August 2015

Common Wealth Charlotte is the recipient of a Points of Light grant that allows us to engage two VISTA volunteers for a twelve-month partnership. Shanell Blunt and Kerry Shipman are two volunteers who are extraordinary assets at Common Wealth Charlotte. They are working daily to coordinate program activities for financial education. Their knowledge, work ethic, and passion are helping Common Wealth Charlotte achieve our goal of helping Charlotte's low-income community members become financially capable, educated, and banked.

The Financial Opportunity Corps recruits and trains volunteers as financial coaches who help people from low- and moderate-income households achieve financial stability. The program is a partnership between Points of Light, Bank of America and the Corporation for National and Community Service. It includes 17 AmeriCorps VISTA members serving nonprofit organizations in 12 cities around the country and will expand to more cities this year.

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