Tuesday, December 16, 2014

OnTrack WNC restructures to respond to needs

OnTrack Financial Education & Counseling announced a strategic restructuring which is designed to position the agency for emerging community needs.

“In the last two years, we’ve seen a gradual shift in demand and our mix of services,” said Celeste Collins, OnTrack WNC’s Executive Director. “For example, demand for foreclosure prevention counseling is going down. This is good news for homeowners and the economic recovery and for our agency, it means we have the opportunity to reallocate counseling capacity to meet different needs of consumers in the new post-recession normal.”  

OnTrack WNC used a strengths-based approach to streamline reporting, make the organization more nimble, and expedite program planning. Staff members who provide direct services will retain their primary roles as counselors, educators, and program coordinators but the separate “counseling” and “education” departments have been combined and will be led by newly appointed Associate Executive Director, Sarah Brown.

Breaking down the department “silos” will increase the opportunities for the staff to work collaboratively and share information across service types. In addition, as counselors, educators and program coordinators work with clients, they will gather information on gaps in services – both within OnTrack WNC and in the community.  This will inform enhancements to existing programs and identify areas for new programs.

“I’m excited to have Sarah in her new role because in her seven years with our agency, I’ve seen her talent for developing staff, cultivating ideas, and creating procedures to capture knowledge and standardize procedures,” said Collins.

OnTrack WNC’s focus areas for 2015 include enhancements to their Homebuyer Program, increasing participation in the Debt Management Program, and developing a Credit Builder Program. Services for specific populations, like older adults and youth will also be part of 2015 program planning.

In developing its strategic direction, OnTrack WNC explored “best practices” within the national focus on “financial capability” which encourages agencies to help consumers develop knowledge, make choices consistent with their goals, and have access to appropriate financial products. 

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