ROCKFORD, Ill. — High school students in northern Illinois will soon have the opportunity to work at a credit union inside their school.

Rockford Bell Credit Union will open a branch inside Guilford High School this fall, the Rockford Register Star reported .

About 24 students will work at the branch during their lunch hours under a credit union employee’s supervision. Students will act as tellers, bookkeepers, computer operators, branch managers and marketing managers.

“We are excited to enter this partnership with Rockford Public Schools because it gives us the opportunity to help young people improve their financial literacy, help them get valuable job experience and give them a glimpse of what a future working with finances might look like,” said Wally Haas, vice chairman of the Rockford Bell board of directors.

Students who excel at the job may be asked to help at the credit union’s main office on weekends and during school breaks, he said.

All district employees and students will be able to use the branch for banking needs, but on-hand cash will be limited.

Rockford Public Schools has created multiple partnerships with local businesses and organizations since starting College and Career Academies in 2013. The credit union will be the first physical presence inside a school through the program.

“This is going to be an incredible opportunity for our students to gain banking experience, but I’m also very excited about the financial literacy component,” said Chris Magee, Guilford’s College and Career Academy coach.

The branch will be housed in a spare classroom, with the credit union supplying any necessary equipment and computers.

“This is not a money-maker for Rockford Bell. This is really about education,” said Michael Connor, board member for Rockford Schools. “They’re taking the long view with this branch and realizing the importance of financial education and building good relationships.”


Information from: Rockford Register Star, http://www.rrstar.com