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November 05, 2018

Virginia National Bank Introduces Financial Training Program

As a financial institution and a community partner, we believe it is our responsibility to maintain awareness of issues that affect the financial health of our community members, and to take action where possible. Over the past few years, we have noticed – as many of you might have – that the following challenges have become increasingly common amongst students:

  • Paying for college degrees that do not provide equal – or guaranteed – returns.
  • Incurring large amounts of debt to do so.
  • Managing personal finances with insufficient financial training.
  • Lacking the interpersonal and professional skills that are required of many professions.
    …and, although many are unaware:
  • Realizing the shortage of talented professionals in our industry.

For each of these issues, opinions, complaints and “if only” statements abound, but real solutions are offered by few.

     If only a program existed that would provide true financial training that would give young people the perspective and tools necessary to level the economic playing field and make responsible financial decisions.

     If only a program existed that offered the training necessary to enter a lucrative career without exchanging six-figure debt and four lost years of earning potential;

We believe that if any progress is to be made, it is our responsibility to affect change.

This month, Virginia National Bank announces the Finance Career and Leadership Academy (FCLA). This multi-course program is a groundbreaking initiative designed to provide true, in-depth, and challenging instruction to the students in our community while offering a distinct path toward careers in banking and finance. The rationale behind the implementation of this program is simple: individuals need a better understanding of financial concepts and valid career opportunities, and our industry is experiencing a shortage of talent.

How we intend to change things:

Instruction from industry experts that goes beyond “financial literacy.”  We believe that, regardless of income, individuals are at an economic disadvantage if they do not have the financial training that allows them to make the best decisions with their own finances.

The real-world decisions required of these individuals often are far more complex than multiple-choice questions about checking accounts, and we believe that although financial literacy is an issue in our society, how we have been defining financial literacy is insufficient. Developing a fluent understanding of financial concepts involves being able to make responsible decisions when faced with nearly infinite, open-ended options, and that developing an understanding of the economic perspective – both from the personal and institutional sides – is critical. Because of this belief, we have structured our program to include each of these components.

Additionally, though today’s youth are more digitally social than ever, we believe that a large portion of them can benefit from instruction in development of interpersonal, professional, and communication skills, which employers consistently rate at the top of their wish list – even above technological and organizational skills.

Focused training at a minimal cost and with maximum return.  In addition to receiving the highest quality training in employment strategies and personal finance, further opportunities may be made available to the most promising and top performing students from the program in the form of a potential scholarship for further training in banking and finance.

Our recent partnership with the Center for Financial Training has allowed us to create a credentialing program specifically designed to prepare students to meet the demands of our industry, and to do so without the prohibitive cost of a four-year degree. This comprehensive training program consists of fifteen college courses and will be made available to those few students who demonstrate the highest aptitude, motivation, and academic performance necessary to differentiate themselves as exceptional candidates.

Furthermore, these elite candidates will be paid while completing coursework – they will have the ability to earn income while taking part in a high-quality, bank-sponsored training program. Equally exciting is the potential that upon completion of this training, graduates will have the framework necessary to pursue various employment opportunities in banking (including a potentially lucrative long-term career).

The motivation for this initiative is simple: we understand that quality employment opportunities are everything, and we recognize the disconnect between what most four-year degrees cost and the opportunities they provide. We need quality talent, and we know exactly what level of training is required to open a promising career path in the banking industry. And, we’re prepared to make the investment to find that talent.

Making the Investment

Virginia National Bank has a history of community partnership, and is dedicated to doing what is necessary to meaningfully improve not only the financial education of our citizens, but employment and career prospects as well.

If you believe what we believe – that we can do better without relying on the higher education system to dictate the financial future of our children, then please contact us directly.

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