Green Mountain United Way has launched a new Working Bridges™ site at the Montpelier offices of Vermont Mutual. With more than 300 employees at the Vermont-based insurer, the company will gain both on-site and virtual support from Green Mountain United Way’s resource coordinators, who will be on hand to help employees access a variety of financial resources.
Blaire Haggett, a resource coordinator with Green Mountain United Way, has helped staff plan for retirement, connected others with income advance loans to help rebuild credit, and offered financial coaching. Blaire stated: “I help support working families with anything that might prevent an employee from being fully present in their workday.”
Working Bridges™ is a program designed to help working families in Vermont manage their financial resources through coaching, social support systems, role models, access to information, and affordable credit. This includes helping workers who may experience an isolated hardship, such as an unexpected car repair or a medical bill they are not fully prepared to handle. These types of resource challenges can also impact performance at the workplace, and could potentially lead to low productivity or missed work down the road.
Sarah Young, vice president of human resources at Vermont Mutual, remarked: “We have long been committed to providing meaningful support in the workplace from a holistic wellness perspective, balancing the demands of operating our business with the personal needs of our employees, and the Working Bridges program complements that objective.”
Sarah added: “A highlight of the Working Bridges program is their well-rounded view of financial wellness. They are skilled in supporting employees and navigating the many needs of working people, such as assistance in securing child or elder care, support for purchasing a first home, and guidance for tax preparation.”
Working Bridges has been a program at Green Mountain United Way since 2017, and since its inception the program has served 30 employers in six industries, including manufacturing, healthcare, higher education, childcare, nonprofit, and insurance. Currently, Green Mountain United Way is operating 11 worksite programs in central and northeastern Vermont and provides services to approximately 130 employees per quarter-year. The program is paid for through a combination of private philanthropic and donor contributions, grants, and fee-for-service payments from the employer.