News Release

New Jersey Department of
Banking and Insurance
Commissioner Holly C. Bakke

For Immediate Release: January 18, 2005

For Further Information:: Marshall McKnight - (609) 292-5064

Pursuing the Dream of Economic Equality
New Jersey Department of Banking and Insurance Hosts Financial Literacy Workshop

TRENTON – In commemoration of Martin Luther King Jr. Day and the celebration of Financial Literacy Awareness Month declared by Acting Governor Richard J. Codey, the New Jersey Department of Banking and Insurance hosted a seminar for young adults focusing on personal financial management. The workshop, titled “Pursuing the Dream of Economic Equality,” was presented to 30 students of the Daylight-Twilight High School, an alternative school for teenagers and young adults.

“It is essential that we provide all New Jerseyans, particularly young people with the tools they need to be successful and productive citizens.”, said Acting Governor Codey. “Programs like this give insight into the basic principles involved with earning, spending, saving and investing.”

“The Acting Governor has taken the lead role in solving the financial literacy crisis in New Jersey,” said Banking and Insurance Commissioner Holly C. Bakke. “It has become our mission to put much-needed financial literacy materials in the hands of those who need it most.”

At the workshop, held Friday at the Department’s offices at the Mary G. Roebling Building in Trenton, Daylight-Twilight students learned how to maintain good credit, start a business and stay out of debt. They also received tips from a financial fitness coach and learned about job opportunities.

“Community leaders have indicated that too many urban area residents between the ages of 18 and 25 are falling too far behind,” said H. Robert Tillman, director of the Department’s Division of Banking. “Many of the people in this age group are unemployed or underemployed and are undereducated. In addition, there are often credit problems and legal tangles, such as traffic violations and driver’s license suspensions, they need to resolve.”

“Educating young adults early regarding financial matters, especially credit awareness and budgeting, is essential to help them build economic stability for their future,” said Gwendolyn Cobb, community relations manager for the Department. Cobb supervises two consumer centers operated by the Department in Camden and Newark.

To further help address the need for financial responsibility, the Department has developed the New Jersey Financial Literacy Awareness Network (NJFLAN). NJFLAN is an association of public and private organizations whose goal is to improve financial literacy throughout the state. The network allows the state to measure improvements in financial literacy by revolutionizing the way financial education materials are circulated to the public.