Independent and small business workers have limited access to employer-based benefits.
Often Career and Technical Education (CTE) alumni are independent or small business workers.
CTE alumni associations can provide solutions to help buoy graduates’ financial wellness.
Financial wellness is a concern for millions of working Americans, as many people do not have access to benefits or financial wellness offerings through a traditional employment relationship. This is especially true for independent workers, sole proprietors, part-time workers, and employees who work for small businesses. Over half (54%) of independent workers do not have access to employer-based benefits, leaving them vulnerable to key financial risks such as premature death, disability, or critical illness.
And the number of independent workers is likely to continue to grow – about 24% of Millennials opens in a new window worked as an independent contractor or freelancer in 2015, vs. 15% of Gen Xers and just 9% of Baby Boomers.1
Graduates of Career and Technical Education (CTE) institutions are especially vulnerable, as they are thought to be more likely to work in the gig economy opens in a new window, and lack access to financial products that Americans typically get through the workplace. As a result, alumni of CTE schools – such as design schools, community colleges, and technical schools – often must purchase benefits on their own or get limited benefits through a spouse or parent.
Alumni associations, professional associations, unions, and other affinity groups can help improve the financial wellness of independent and small business workers by providing access to financial wellness programs. These organizations can provide members with institutional pricing or discounts on many products and services. Associations that choose to offer a financial wellness program can fill a critical void in the lives of their members while simultaneously deepening relationships with them.
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