UNION BANK OPENS ITS FIRST STUDENT-RUN BRANCH AT MCLANE HIGH SCHOOL
For Immediate Release
Students Gain Real-World Banking Experience on Campus;Bilingual "Parents Academy" to Offer Financial Education to Adults
FRESNO, Calif., April 7, 2011 - Union Bank, N.A., in a partnership with the Fresno Unified School District, has opened its first student-run branch on the McLane High School campus, located at 2727 North Cedar in central Fresno, and will celebrate with a Grand Opening today. On January 26, 2011, the Fresno Unified School District Board of Education unanimously voted to move forward with plans for the branch as a special program designed to provide students with real-world financial education, experience, and events. Union Bank, which has been serving Fresno since 1966 and California for nearly 150 years, launched the student-run branch on March 7.
"We appreciate Union Bank's willingness to partner with Fresno Unified in providing a workplace experience for students so that they are better prepared for careers and success beyond high school," said Fresno Unified Superintendent Michael Hanson. "Our connections with local businesses play a vital role in reshaping how we teach and how students learn so that they see a link between the classroom and their future."
Union Bank branch manager, Rachel Flores, oversees operations and coaches the nine student bankers, as part of a McLane Business Academy offered each year as an elective course. The student bankers receive experience building skills in finance as well as leadership, management, and marketing. The students receive a $500 stipend for working in the branch and a $1,000 scholarship for college when the course is completed.
Flores joined Union Bank in 2011 and most recently worked at Fresno City College as a counselor and instructor and coordinated the Life Skills workshop. She has a bachelor's degree in business from California State University, Fresno and a master's degree from Fresno Pacific University.
"Our students are acquiring banking skills that really can only be learned by doing," said McLane Principal Scott Lamm. "Students participating in the McLane Business Academy will graduate with valuable tools that will help them succeed after graduation."
In addition to student learning, Union Bank is establishing a Parents Academy at the school that will offer financial education, in both English and Spanish, for parents and guardians of the students at McLane High School.
"Union Bank is committed to this partnership and we look forward to working with the Fresno Unified District and McLane High School in our shared mission to help the community become better educated in managing their personal finances," said Senior Vice President Renuka Patel, Union Bank’s market president for Central California. "We are proud of our long-standing tradition of serving Fresno residents by volunteering to teach financial education in the classroom and beyond."
Mike Feldman, Union Bank's executive vice president and head of California Branch Banking said, "Union Bank is dedicated to increasing financial awareness among our customers and within the communities that we serve. We have a long history of partnering with local service organizations to provide information and tools that help people build healthier financial lives, and in turn, help build stronger communities. With strong ties to the Central Valley as a graduate of Fresno State, I am proud of Union Bank’s commitment to develop partnerships that serve the Fresno community."
Union Bank also is making financial education information available on the McLane High School micro Web site. The McLane High School branch is open Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. during the school year. Select banking services are available to students, faculty, and administrative staff.