DCOVAGray Kicks Off Citywide Financial Capability Initiative for Veterans

Today, Mayor Vincent C. Gray announced the launch of VALOR, a financial empowerment program created through a public/private partnership between the DC Office of Veterans Affairs (OVA) and FELA (Financial Education & Literacy Advisers).

The announcement highlights the Mayor’s commitment to offering District residents ways to increase their financial literacy and OVA’s commitment to provide access to innovative solutions for the District’s veterans. Through the program, veterans will gain assistance in maintaining their finances, supporting their households and building wealth.

“I’m committed to boosting economic development and opportunities for all, and an important part of this is helping make sure people manage their money effectively for themselves and their families,” Mayor Gray said. “The District’s Office of Veterans Affairs is dedicated to providing our veterans with the financial-literacy tools they need to be successful consumers in their communities.”

VALOR (for “Veterans Assistance for Learning, Opportunity and Readiness”) helps connect veterans to the programs and services provided by community programs and helps build capacity among partners already serving veterans. VALOR will help to empower the District’s nearly 100,000 veterans and their families to improve their financial capability through asset building, career development and educational advancement.

“VALOR will increase awareness of the financial tools each veteran must have in his or her toolkit,” said OVA Executive Director Matt Cary.

OVA and FELA designed the District-wide program to centralize access to the many organizations committed to helping veterans and their families. The long-term objective is to create a “one-stop shop” for veterans and to engage business and community partners in support of the veteran community. VALOR will continue to expand its reach by integrating online resources with in-person workshops and coaching. This approach will help to create a highly unique and effective learning experience. The online component will be provided by FELA and contribute to creating personalized education experiences, enhancing the scalability of VALOR, and lead to long-term program sustainability.

We are excited to continue working in partnership with the Mayor’s office and help to veterans and their families improve their financial capability and achieve long-term financial security through VALOR,” said FELA CEO & President Blake Allison. “We strongly believe that VALOR’s innovative concept and approach will generate positive, measurable outcomes for individual participants in the District that will have a lasting impact on the DC community.”

Beginning this month, veterans and their families will be able to attend one of four free financial-education series. Each series is composed of four monthly, 90-minute-long workshops. This free financial education series will be offered by Bank on DC banking partners on a quarterly basis at four locations throughout the city. To register for the series, residents should visit www.bankondc.org/valor.

A number of partners have made substantive contributions to help institute the VALOR program including: , the US Department of Veterans Affairs, Bank on DC, Access Housing, the National Veterans Center, the DVA Federal Credit Union, Wells Fargo, and Park Road Advisors.

For more information about VALOR and the financial empowerment series, contact the Office of the Veterans Affairs at (202) 724-5454 or visit their web site at www.ova.dc.gov.

Washington DC Office of Veterans Affairs was established to provide benefits, information, outreach, effective advocacy, claims-processing assistance and service-provider coordination to veterans and their families so that they can access their entitled resources and benefits. The office also develops, coordinates and attends veteran commemorative events that recognize the military service and sacrifice of District veterans. Visit: www.ova.dc.gov

FELA (Financial Education and Literacy Advisers) is a leading financial-education services and technology company. FELA develops, implements, and manages outcomes-based education programs and wellness initiatives that are aligned with the strategic objectives of our partners and clients. FELA’s programs are built on proven approach and a robust data model that helps to generate a measurable ROI for partners and clients. Visit: www.myfela.com

You can read the press release on the website for the Executive Office of the Mayor (D.C.) by clicking here.