Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Financial Literacy Course Tested in Pittsburgh

A free online financial literacy course is being tested in Pittsburgh in hopes that it will help local workers better manage their money. The Three Rivers Workforce Investment Board has been piloting the seven-module course with several community groups. The modules cover things like bank accounts, budgets, taxes, wages, and the global economy. Each module has a test at the end to help evaluate the user's progress. Program Monitor Shad Henderson says after the pilot is finished next year, the program will be refined and then expanded to more participants.

Henderson says at first, the Workforce Investment Board just posted a link on its website to other online financial literacy resources. But users found it difficult to navigate, and there was no way to test what they'd learned.

The online software was developed with a grant from the Heinz Endowments, which wanted to learn more about how money management problems might affect worker productivity. Henderson says earlier studies have suggested that workers with money problems tend to spend time on the job addressing them.

Community groups have offered various incentives to volunteers who have been willing to go through the program. But it's also available to anyone who wants to do it. You can access it on the website

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