Financial Education and the Workforce

November 28, 2017
By Jessie Blackwell, Public Affairs Specialist


More than 200 workforce development professionals and classroom educators attended the 14th annual Financial Education in Oklahoma conference in November. The conference is a partnership of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City’s Oklahoma City Branch and the Oklahoma Jump$tart Coalition, which brings together a wide range of educators and stakeholders concerned about increasing financial education for all ages in the state.

This year’s conference was focused on the role of financial education in the workplace and how it assists both employees and their employers. 

“Financial education builds career-ready students, productive employees and empowered citizens,” said Steve Shepelwich, community development advisor at the Oklahoma City Branch. “This conference connected new partners, initiatives and resources to allow us to better serve stakeholders in the classroom, on the job and in the community.”

Attendees were welcomed by State Superintendent of Public Instruction Joy Hofmeister and State Secretary of Education and Workforce Development Natalie Shirley. 

“Oklahoma is facing a skills gap that is widening. We are committed to addressing this through promoting credentialing opportunities for all Oklahomans,” Shirley said. “Skills learned through financial education will help individuals to better evaluate the benefits of these opportunities as well as prepare themselves to access them.” 

Liddy Romero, executive director of WorkLife Partnership and a member of the Kansas City Fed’s Community Development Advisory Council, gave the keynote address. Her organization has developed a unique model for helping employers of lower-wage, frontline workers improve jobs through a range of services, including financial education. 

Romero shared her experiences and insights on how financial education can be provided in the workplace and how financial educators can develop productive collaborations with employers. 

Other content presented during the conference included research on the financial wellbeing of American families, research-based strategies that are improving the financial options of workers and their families, and emerging frameworks for assessing the goals and outcomes of financial education. More information about conference sessions is available at the event page

“I challenge you to have an open mind and see how these ideas and concepts you learned today can be adapted to the workplace, the classroom and the community settings where you engage with your stakeholders to build a stronger and more resilient Oklahoma,” said Pam Campbell, president of the Oklahoma Jump$tart Coalition and director of Public Affairs at the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City’s Oklahoma City Branch. 

For more information about financial education or workforce development efforts in Oklahoma, contact Steve Shepelwich.