Macon residents will have a new place to do their banking this fall. It’ll have all the bells and whistles of a normal bank, but the employees will be a little younger.
The full-service credit union will be inside Hutchings College and Career and operated by students in the school’s banking and finance pathway. This project is made possible through a partnership with MidSouth Federal Credit Union, approved by the Bibb County school board at its Thursday meeting.
Credit union staff will provide guidance on the curriculum and mentor students, faculty and staff on products, services and operations. Students interested in banking careers will be able to get real-world experience, said Cassandra Washington, CEO of Hutchings and Bibb County director of career, technical and agricultural education.
The bank, already set up inside the school, will need some renovations for security purposed but will cost the school district little. This summer, the school will recruit and train three to six students to work in the bank, which will be open to the community during normal school hours.
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As part of the partnership, MidSouth staff will teach students at schools throughout the district about financial literacy and help them learn to make better financial decisions, Washington said.
“We talk about preparing students for the emerging workforce. We really need to prepare students as a whole. Financial literacy is a piece of the puzzle that students don’t normally think about,” she said.
Only one other school system in the state, Henry County, has a student-run credit union. Bibb County worked closely with this district when making plans for Hutchings, Washington said.
Board members also approved the use of a $1,623,503 Carol White PEP grant for health and fitness initiatives in all schools in the district. The funds, dispersed over three years, will be used to buy physical education equipment like pedometers and jump ropes, and train staff to teach programs like Power Up for 30 and Shape America, said Jamie Cassady, assistant superintendent of student support services.
The grant aims to improve students’ fitness levels and nutrition. It will put the focus back on physical education in schools and make PE teaching more consistent across the district, Cassady said.
The school board also approved:
▪ A contract with ICB Construction Group for the transportation/campus police facility project. The contract includes a construction management fee of $22,675 and $378,967 in general conditions.
▪ The purchase of six school buses to replace older vehicles, at a total cost of $533,572.
▪ The relocation of power lines behind the Martin Whitley Educational Complex by Georgia Power Co.