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Davidson Strikes A Chord In Yakima, On Financial Literacy

Davidson Strikes A Chord In Yakima, On Financial Literacy

In mid-May, State Treasurer Duane Davidson continued his statewide outreach to promote greater financial literacy, in Yakima. Davidson visited the Junior Achievement (JA) program on financial education in the Yakima-area city of Terrace Heights. As the Yakima Herald-Republic reported, Davidson came away impressed.

A passel of Washington state agencies and even a public-private partnership, are implementing their own community outreach programs on financial education, and they deserve credit for their emphasis on this ever more important objective. The Office of the State Treasurer (OST) is part of that effort. Yet at the same time, Treasurer Davidson noted in Terrace Heights, JA World already presents a great hands-on model of how to engage students on the key principles of business and personal finance.

Reflecting a week later on the Treasurer’s visit, the Herald-Republic’s editorial board amplified Davidson’s insight on the yield from high-touch programs such as JA World.

The paper wrote:

“…Davidson…is a longtime Benton County resident who doesn’t need a road map to find Yakima. When his staff researched ways to improve financial literacy among our state’s younger generation, the road took him to Junior Achievement programs in Auburn and at JA World in Terrace Heights, where Davidson made an on-site visit last week. JA World opened in 2011…As Washington’s sole JA facility east of the Cascades, the Terrace Heights” location “draws students from grade school for high school for immersion programs that emphasize the organization’s three pillars – financial literacy, entrepreneurship, and work readiness – in a real-world environment.”

The editorial concluded:

“‘We don’t need to write a curriculum,’ Davidson said. ‘We just need to partner with Junior Acievement.’ Local businesses, which have much to gain from financially savvy youth, would do well to take note.”

Earlier this year, Treasurer Davidson joined with others to urge lawmakers to pass SB 5100. It subsequently cleared the House and was signed into law by Governor Jay Inslee. The bill will step up financial literacy education efforts in Washington state colleges and universities.