Opportunities for free, financial counseling and services will be more accessible to the community starting Dec. 1, 2018, when the The Financial Empowerment Center at Prince William County opens to the public.
The Financial Empowerment Center is a cooperation between the SunTrust Foundation, the United Way National Capital Area, SkillSource Group, Inc. and the Virginia Cooperative Extension Prince William. The center is funded by a grant from the SunTrust Foundation to the United Way National Capital Area.
The center, which is located at 13370 Minnieville Road and where the SkillSource Group Inc., is headquartered, will now house offices for the Virginia Cooperative Extension, or VCE, as well.
While SkillSource offers job training, VCE will provide the financial and housing education to supplement the center's services, said Victoria Neeley, VCE's financial education and housing counselor program manager. "The idea behind the Financial Empowerment Center is to be a one-stop shop. Currently, SkillSource Center is a job training center. Now we're going to have financial education, tax services, small business education and empowerment. We're going to have housing counseling, financial counseling and small business counseling right here in one location."
Prince William Supervisor Ruth Anderson spoke at the ribbon cutting ceremony and said the partnership would benefit the county. "One of our biggest strategic goals is a robust economy, and to have a robust economy, there's several things underneath that. First, you've got to bring in big business... Another goal is to bring in small business. Small business is what makes Prince William go around. To have small businesses … we have to have people ready to work in those small businesses and that's what workforce is all about, right here. When we get those jobs, we need people ready to work in those jobs. We really, really appreciate United Way and SunTrust and our partners that are here today."
Neeley said posting VCE counselors in an office at the Empowerment Center will offer people more opportunities. "The idea of the center is to be more available to the community; so, we have more counselors working one-on-one with clients, and we have more educational programs going on to fit the needs of the community, especially to grow small businesses and what they're doing, and to help grow financial confidence in the community."
More information about VCE's financial education services is available at pwcgov.org/money.