The Gleaner

Portland Co-operative Credit Union drives inclusion of youth in the credit union

PORTLAND CO-OPERATIVE Credit Union held its Youth Forum at the College of Agriculture Science and Education (CASE) on Thursday, November 23, with 70 persons attending. The event was streamed live to Portland Credit Union staff as well as members of the Next Generation (NeXGen) Leaders, a committee of credit union young professionals spearheading youth engagement.

The Youth Forum brought together students from Titchfield High, Port Antonio High, Happy Grove High and CASE to communicate their perspective on the operations and services of financial institutions, and to suggest methods the credit union can adopt to attract their peers. The event was held in partnership with CASE’s Business Unit.

The Youth Forum brought together students age 13 to 19 years, each tasked with preparing a speech on one of four topics assigned to them by Portland Co-operative Credit Union. The topics discussed were: ‘The role of the credit union in community involvement’, assigned to Happy Grove High School; ‘Online vs offline services offered by the credit union’, assigned to Port Antonio High School; ‘Social media platforms applicable to the sector’, assigned to Titchfield High School; and ‘A view on the overall future of the financial sector’, assigned to CASE.

This initiative was born from the credit union’s desire to connect with a younger generation, notably GenZ, and to give the participants an arena to reveal the ways in which they relate to their financial institutions and to express their expectations of them.

Addressing the attendees were Fazel Huie, dean of the Faculty of Education and Management at CASE; Martin Blackwood, general manager of Portland Co-op Credit Union; Ronnie-Dane Renford, marketing officer at the credit union; and Katrina Grant D’Aguilar, group marketing and communication manager at the Jamaica Co-operative Credit Union League, representing the Credit Unions of Jamaica.

The Portland Co-operative Credit Union, fresh off the heels of the successful event, intends to make the Youth Forum an annual occurrence, as it allows the youth to have a voice in the larger initiatives undertaken by the credit union

Enthused by Portland Co-operative Credit Union’s initiative, the credit unions of Jamaica pledged to make the event a part of a national thrust to strengthen engagement with a younger demographic. This will also create additional driving points by which credit unions may consider when creating future initiatives.





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