Financial Empowerment Specialist
Oakland (United States of America)
Job Summary: The IRC in Oakland’s Economic Empowerment department provides early employment, financial coaching and career development services to help clients achieve self-sufficiency and economic independence. The Financial Empowerment Specialist is a full-time position that will support the Economic Empowerment department in financial education and coaching, job placement assistance, case management, and ensuring that clients are accessing the full range of supportive services available to them.
The Financial Empowerment Specialist will support clients by conducting initial assessments and developing individualized service plans to meet their financial goals; Examples of common activities may include but will not be limited to: helping a client apply for financial aid to earn an industry-recognized credential, helping a client make and carry out a debt management plan, helping a client review their credit report and address any issues, helping a client secure entry-level employment. The Financial Empowerment Specialist will work in coordination with the rest of the team and across departments to ensure clients are accessing the full scope of IRC’s services. The Financial Empowerment Specialist will also be the lead financial education instructor leading weekly workshops for IRC clients and community partners on topics such as credit-building, how to read a paystub, how to avoid scams and predatory loans, and other topics as relevant.
Finally, about 20% of this position’s time will be dedicated to implementing the Financial Navigator initiative, which provides rapid deployment of financial empowerment resources and referrals via a phone-based system. This staff person will remotely serve Alameda County residents identified as having immediate financial challenges with housing and/or employment, helping them navigate critical financial issues and making referrals to relevant social services and necessary resources. Services to be provided to individual callers will include comprehensive and up-to-date Federal, State, County/City-based government and nonprofit resources, safety net programs, and financial prioritization guidance.
Economic Empowerment Services:
·Provide intake, assessment, and program orientation to clients eligible for employment and asset-building services.
·Develop comprehensive economic empowerment service plans for each client including a baseline financial health assessment including net worth and credit score.
·Provide job readiness and job search coaching to clients preparing to enter the US job market.
·Provide ongoing case management to enrolled clients including income supports screening and financial coaching as well as transportation assistance to job interviews as needed.
·Assist clients and employers as necessary with post-placement issues and continuing employment and asset-building needs.
·Package consumer loan applications for participants in support of their individualized service plan (as relevant) and submit electronically to the IRC’s Center for Economic Opportunity; serve as primary point of contact for these borrowers
·Lead weekly economic empowerment workshops on a variety of topics including Introduction to Credit and How to Read a Paystub
·Support with developing and maintaining employer partnerships as needed.
·Train and supervise program interns/volunteers.
Financial Navigator Initiative:
·Participate in initial training on client management database (Compass) and available resources;
·Conduct outbound calls to Alameda County residents who have signed up for a Financial Navigator consultation; Assess residents’ needs and make appropriate referrals (i.e. public benefits, tax preparation, eviction defense);
• Monitor and track client financial health indicators including job wage levels, net worth, and credit score.
• Ensure timely and accurate compliance to all reporting requirements, including database management, case noting, and file maintenance.
·Participate in all program meetings, staff development activities, and other duties as assigned.
·Work as part of a team to provide comprehensive strength-based services to IRC clients through coordination of cases and effective communication between team members and departments.
·Comply with all policies, procedures and protocols of the agency.
·Training and providing guidance to volunteers recruited to support IRC’s mission.
·Other duties as assigned.
Key Working Relationships:
Position Reports to: Economic Empowerment Manager
Position directly supervises: Program Interns and Volunteers
Indirect Reporting: Employment and Asset-building Coordinator
Other Internal and/or external contacts:
Internal: Position will develop working relationships with internal direct service staff across all departments
External: Position will develop working relationships with provider partners and County liaisons.
·Undergraduate degree preferred; equivalent work experience may be substituted
·2+ years of professional experience, preferred; minimum of 1 year of experience with direct client services and/or case management, preferred
·Strong interest in personal/consumer finance required; previous experience in the field is NOT required
·Demonstrated success working and communicating effectively in a multi-cultural environment
·Experience working with diverse and/or low income populations preferred
·Self- starter with excellent problem solving skills combined with the proven ability to multi-task, prioritize duties, and manage time effectively
·Excellent written and verbal communication skills
·High digital fluency including facility with Microsoft Excel (sorting, filtering, basic formulas), real-time messaging platforms (Slack, Microsoft Teams, Zoom), cloud-based file management (Box, Dropbox), advanced e-mail functions (filtering, sorting, setting up inbox rules); skills test will be administered.
·Fluency in Spanish, Dari, Farsi, Pashto, Tigrinya, Arabic, or Amharic preferred.
·Standard office work environment with regular travel throughout the service delivery area.
·Potential for hybrid in-person/remote work schedule
We are an equal opportunity employer and value diversity at our company. We do not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, color, national origin, sex, gender, gender expression, sexual orientation, age, marital status, veteran status, or disability status. We will ensure that individuals with disabilities are provided reasonable accommodation to participate in the job application or interview process, to perform essential job functions, and to receive other benefits and privileges of employment. Please contact us to request accommodation.
IRC- leading the way from harm to home.
IRC is an Equal Opportunity Employer IRC considers all applicants on the basis of merit without regard to race, sex, color, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, age, marital status, veteran status or disability.