Personal Financial Stability is Nigh with NEDCO

One of the duties of the Strike Hardship and Member Needs Committee is to inform members of resources available through community organizations. For several years we have focused on raising money for the strike hardship fund, and we have succeeded in growing the fund steadily.

With our hardship fund at a comfortable level, we are putting increased emphasis on the Member Needs part of our charter. To this end, we are reaching out to organizations in our community that may have resources that could benefit our members.

The committee recently met with Ross Kanaga, a representative from the Neighborhood Economic Development Corporation (NEDCO) in Springfield. Ross gave a comprehensive overview of NEDCO’s history and the services available to community members. The main focus of NEDCO is helping people develop financial stability.

Our mission is to build human and capital assets to strengthen neighborhoods and broaden participation in community ownership and governance. We fulfill our mission by helping our community find safe and affordable housing, develop and maintain solid businesses, and bring neglected neighborhoods back to vibrancy. We do dynamic, innovative work in order to help create a thriving community for everyone.


Operating in Lane, Clackamas and Marion counties, NEDCO makes available various tools toward these ends, including classes, lending services, business development and counseling. The core of these services is the Financial Foundations class, upon which other education is built.

One really exciting service is the Individual Development Account (IDA). This is a savings program lasting up to three years and is designed to develop people into life-long savers. The program offers a 3-to-1 match towards saving for a specific goal, such as further education, a first-time home purchase, or to start a business. Participants have several responsibilities which include 16 hours of education, tracking expenses, and committing to saving a certain amount each month. This sounds too good to be true, but true it is. To find out more, please contact NEDCO at 541-345-7106 or visit their website:

We encourage all members to look into this and take advantage of these wonderful services. Certainly everyone could benefit from more personal finance education, and the IDA program is too good to pass up. The main message is that you can take control of your personal financial situation.

Stay tuned for more articles about services that NEDCO and other community organizations provide in future issues of the Local Focus. If you have suggestions for articles or any questions, please contact the author at

SEIU Local 085