A PNC-led effort to help bridge gaps in financial education and to equip local community residents with budgeting resources is coming to nine new markets by year end.  Aimed at boosting the money management skills of individuals, first-time homebuyers and small business owners, the PNC Center for Financial Education (CFE) plans to fully launch its free financial well-being curriculum to communities in Atlanta, Birmingham, Cleveland, Harrisburg, Indianapolis, Oakland, Phoenix, Philadelphia and Pittsburgh.

“Our push into new markets builds on PNC’s multi-year effort to develop a scalable financial education model that can be replicated in community spaces where participants can gain the confidence and know-how to navigate their well financial well-being,” said Rey Ocañas, executive vice president & managing director, PNC Community Development Banking. “We understand that banking and finances can be intimidating, which is why we’ve partnered with local community organizations to deliver a curriculum that’s accessible to diverse learning styles and levels of financial knowledge.”

A collaboration between PNC and community-based nonprofit organizations in select cities, the CFE workshops break down barriers and provide accessible resources for people to build a solid foundation in personal finance, small business, and home-buying. Since launching the pilot in Baltimore, Chicago, Dallas, Detroit, Fort Lauderdale, and Houston last year, PNC subject matter experts have collaborated with community organizations to facilitate 80 CFE workshops serving more than 1,000 adults--primarily in unbanked, underbanked and low and moderate-income (LMI) communities. 

PNC’s Community Development Banking team recently kicked off its expansion efforts with a CFE launch event at Fairfax Connection in Cleveland. As the program enters new markets later this year, CDB hopes to engage new community partners and PNC subject matter experts to help facilitate the CFE workshops in local communities.


CFE Pilot Helps Long-Term Partner Deliver Successful Results

Long-time community partner UnitedMegaCare has leveraged the CFE curriculum to offer in-person workshops to a broad network of community residents and employees at the organization’s Dallas and Fort Worth campus locations. And since the program’s launch in 2018 (formerly under BBVA), both attendance and engagement has continued to improve, with greater participation expected by year end, according to Tiffany Brinkley, UnitedMegaCare’s Community Impact Director.

“Based on the work we do and our mission to serve the most vulnerable, it’s important that we bring financial literacy resources to LMI families and homes, said Brinkley. “Growing up, many of our Black and Brown communities didn’t receive information on how to budget, save and invest for generational wealth. We see how important CFE is for the next generation and how much it’s needed even for younger adults to not to be afraid to embrace money and to understand how important financial education is to every facet of life.”

Last year, the Dallas-based global nonprofit offered 12 CFE workshops to more than 375 attendees as part of the organization’s strategic focus on providing adult education and career readiness resources.

PNC’s efforts to extend the financial literacy initiative to more communities comes at a pivotal moment, as more households grapple with economic uncertainty and rising debt loads.  According to The Federal Reserve of New York’s latest quarterly reports. American household debt increased by $212 billion to $17.5 trillion in the fourth quarter of 2023, with lower-income and younger households experiencing increased financial stress amid higher delinquency rates on credit card and car loans.

“PNC’s investment in the CFE program has given us the resources not only to execute the program but also to help incentivize the community to make personal investments. For example, we’ve given residents who complete the modules stipends of up to $100 to open banking accounts to help leverage the money management tools and resources they’ve learned,” said Brinkley.

The Center for Financial Education is one of several initiatives PNC has expanded to help bridge the gap in financial learning. Earlier this year, PNC and EVERFI announced a new curriculum designed to boost financial literacy in high schools across Florida, Georgia and Ohio. And in 2023, PNC launched its 10th dedicated mobile branch to provide free financial education sessions and resources to residents in low and moderate-income communities across the U.S.

“CFE is not just another educational resource, it's a catalyst for better financial well-being. By equipping individuals with the knowledge and skills to make informed financial decisions, we’re working within the community to help break the cycle of debt, foster long-term savings habits, and promote financial independence,” added Ocanas.

For more information about the PNC Center for Financial Education workshops offered, contact your local PNC Community Development Banking team.