ó With one credit card paid off and two more to go,
Bill Stiner was determined to stick with his plan of
total debt elimination after finishing a nine-week
course at his Pittsburgh church with other members of
the congregation who also had declared war on their
in class paid off debt," he said, referring to the
program. "But I didnít pay off all the debt. Iím
still in the middle of that."
long after the church program ended this summer, Stiner
was pleasantly surprised to find out that his employer
ó Aerotech ó had decided to offer the very same
course to its employees for no charge.
was one of the first employees in his workplace to sign
employers are starting to focus on the financial
well-being of workers. In addition to basic employee
benefits such as health care and life insurance,
financial wellness programs sponsored by companies are
helping more workers overcome personal financial
challenges, reduce their debt and prepare for
a global manufacturer of motion control components and
systems, is one of four companies in the Pittsburgh
region that are bringing financial education into the
workplace through a money management course created by
Nashville, Tenn.-based talk radio host Dave Ramsey
workplace financial education are also offered by
companies such as WiseWealth based in Liberty, Mo., and
FourSeasons Financial Education based in St. Louis.
Hamilton, vice president of SmartDollar, said 4,000
companies currently provide his companyís program to
about 2 million employees. Representatives from parent
company Ramsey Solutions declined to provide information
concerning how much it charges businesses for the
Solutions has for 25 years been offering a debt
elimination course called Financial Peace University
that is taught to groups of people in churches and
communities. Families pay $93 for the nine-week FPU
course held at churches and community centers. The FPU
course costs $129 online.
workplace program contains the same course material, but
it is designed for workers to access the program from
their personal computers at home. There is no religious
content in the SmartDollar version of the money
management plan, unlike the church version that touches
on Biblical principles.
Peace University is traditionally a gathering, or small
group of 10 to 20 families sitting together and holding
each other accountable, which is great, and thatís
been very effective in the church and community
space," Hamilton said.
doesnít work in the corporate world, he said.
"Those employees donít want to sit around with
their co-workers and talk about their money
covered include saving, budgeting, eliminating debt,
investing, planning and retiring with dignity. The
online version allows users to import their bank
statements, keep track of their debt paydown and pull
information from investment accounts.
have access to the course for one year.
Stiner, 30, who works as a supervisor in an Aerotech
warehouse, the workplace program has reinforced progress
he made studying money management with groups at his
rents half a duplex for $1,200 a month. He recently paid
off his car ó a 2005 Toyota Prius with 260,000 miles
on it. And he has made a sizable dent in the $10,000 in
credit card debt he started with in 2015, paying off one
of three credit cards he ran up when he lost control of
said his five-year goals are to be married, living in a
home he owns, and be free of all credit card and other
budgeting work gives him a clearer picture of his
finances. "Whereas before, I was sort of scared of
my finances. I almost didnít want to check them
because I knew that I was always paycheck to paycheck,
and itís always tight."
employers are finding that companies have a stake in the
financial wellness of their employees.
resource departments spend valuable time dealing with
garnishments from unpaid credit card bills. Employees
may be distracted at work if they are getting calls
during work hours from collection agencies. Financially
stressed employees often produce less and call in sick
more. Employees under financial stress also may start
looking for a higher paying job to cover their expenses.
STORY CAN END HERE)
Botos, CEO of Aerotech, said his company offers a
benefits package that includes health care,
profit-sharing for all employees and most recently the
free financial wellness program.
which has about 400 employees worldwide and 315 workers
in the Pittsburgh plant, recently crossed the $100
million annual revenue threshold. The company was
founded in 1970 by Botosís father. He took the helm in
2009 when his father retired.
been here a long time," said Botos, 50. "I
worked here part-time in high school in the 1980s. So,
the years are starting to pile up. Iíve known a lot of
these people for decades. And that matters. We are only
successful because our employees help make us
waiting to see how the new program works and if it will
help employees. But heís pleased to be giving it a
try. "Itís another way of giving back and working
on employee retention and trying to be concerned about