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What’s Being a “Financial Opportunity Center” All About?

As some of you may have heard, from sources like The Washington Post or Pop City Media, Mon Valley Initiative (MVI) recently became one of three new Financial Opportunity Centers (FOCs) in and around Pittsburgh that offers services to assist low and moderate income families to build their assets and increase financial stability. You may also be aware that MVI already has powerful Workforce Development and Housing Counseling programs, which will both contribute certain aspects to how the new FOC functions.


We asked our current administrative and program staff: “How do you think MVI and its program participants will benefit from the Financial Opportunity Center?” Here’s what they said:


“Our Workforce Development Program serves as the cornerstone of the FOC bundled service delivery model. While all three core services (employment services, access to income supports and financial coaching) are currently provided by MVI at some level, implementing the FOC model requires a more deliberate approach to link and bolster services provided in the areas of financial coaching and income supports.

We believe our Workforce Development Program provides a strong foundation on which to build an FOC that best serves those who come to MVI seeking assistance to gain employment and to improve the quality of their lives.”

~John Bixler, Chief Operating Officer


“I came away more energized about the potential prospects. It’s pretty cool to be able to bring in people who want to own homes and to have a system in place for them to assess other areas of their lives that will make that vision of owning a home turn to a reality faster. Having this process in place might help a potential buyer work more efficiently on increasing their income.”

~ Jonathan Weaver, Housing Counselor


“The MVI FOC gives the Workforce Development Program the chance to offer the job seekers in our program, as well as members of the community, access to employment assistance, income supports, professional development, and other resources, all under one roof. What a great idea that is!”

~ Camille Smith, Workforce Development Specialist


“The idea behind the FOC aligns with much of the current Workforce Development Program philosophy – it’s more than just a job. Our program participants need to think of better ways of spending. It’s a more holistic view of improving the vitality of your household. At the end of the day, you’re improving your net worth. Having a job is just part of that.”

~ Samson Murage, Senior Workforce Development Specialist


“By bundling services in one package, the FOC offers a more structured and comprehensive approach to our programs. It’s an amazing thing to offer the community and program participants.”

~ Tracey Reaves, Workforce Development Director


Stay tuned in March for the introduction of our new Workforce Development Specialist/Financial Coach and a deeper explanation of the services you could benefit from through the MVI Financial Opportunity Center!

Mon Valley Initiative