In the current economic situation, Michigan residents are struggling to rebuild lost assets and cope with less income. Michigan State University Extension financial education experts are stepping up to the challenge to assist people in dealing with this situation. MSUE offers assistance in many ways, among them financial classes on budgeting, home repair workshops and foreclosure prevention counseling.
Increased public awareness of MSUE’s role will allow more residents to receive unbiased information and the education needed to aid in their economic recovery. With that in mind, Macomb County MSUE participated in the annual Michigan Money Summit Oct. 9 at the Macomb Center for the Performing Arts sponsored by WWJ, a major Detroit radio station. Members of the Greening Michigan Institute’s Financial Education Team decided that it was an excellent opportunity to highlight its strong community programs, university research and the new Michigan Money Health website.
MSUE became an event sponsor at a cost of $4,000 paid through Community Reinvestment Act bank donations. Sponsorship resulted in 20 promotional radio announcements, inclusion on the WWJ Web page and event participation.
MSUE made arrangements for Dr. Lisa D. Cook, Michigan State University assistant professor in the Department of Economics and the James Madison College, to serve on a panel with David Sowerby, chief portfolio manager, Loomis Sayles, LLC, and Ken Ross, commissioner, Michigan Office of Financial and Insurance Regulation. Dr. Cook presented her research paper, “The Financial and Economic Crises: Implications for Consumer Finance and for Households in Michigan” and took questions from WWJ television and radio talent Murray Feldman and the audience. The presentation and discussion were then played on radio throughout the day. MSUE educators staffed a table and distributed program brochures, flyers and materials to attendees.
MSUE’s participation in the WWJ Michigan Money Summit resulted in a demonstrated link between campus research and the community – a key mission of land-grant universities, higher visibility of MSUE staff members as macro- and micro-economic experts working to improve the financial stability of residents and a funding opportunity for MSUE in the area of statewide investor education. And it also helped me to realize what a great resource we have on campus in the person of Dr. Cook.
Greening Michigan Institute educators who took part in the summit were Jean Lakin, Anne Lilla, Terry Clark-Jones, Kathe Hale, Connie Costner and Erica Tobe. Thanks to all for helping to move us forward in this high priority even as we continue to develop our plans for new programming in financial literacy!
The Michigan Money Health website can be found at http://www.mimoneyhealth.com/. The Michigan Money Health Survey is currently at this site. Dr. Cook is continuing to collect data from the site. Staff members may contribute to her research by participating. In a few weeks, the site will also contain financial literacy content.