HRA, IRS discuss city's financial education services

CAFCA | September 14, 2016 |


NEW BRITAIN — The Human Resources Agency of New Britain on Wednesday hosted representatives from the Internal Revenue Service to detail what HRA calls “a holistic approach to financial capability.”

The agency’s executive director, Rocco R. Tricarico, and Marlo Greponne, its director of planning and programs, established the Fundamentals of Financial Independence program in 2009 to fill the gap in financial education services in the city. It provides services both short-term – income tax refunds, financial education - and long-term, including matched savings accounts and financial coaching.

Visiting the Clinton Street facility were Beverly Upperman, IRS national acting Area 1 director SPEC (Stakeholders, Partnerships, Education and Communication); Joe Hayek, regional territory manager SPEC; and Alines Diaz, Connecticut relationship manager SPEC. They said they chose to visit HRA’s program “because it implements best practices to move low-income people toward self-sufficiency using unique approaches.”

HRA’s VITA (Volunteer Income Tax Assistance) youth program has become an integral part of the New Britain High School Finance Academy. The VITA Tax Certification offers a credential and real world experience to students seeking careers in finance.

“With limited funding, the FFI program uses creative cost-effective technological methods to expand its reach,” said Tricarico.

In addition to the IRS, HRA’s FFI program receives funding from the American Savings Foundation, the United Way organizations of Central & Northeastern Connecticut, West Central Connecticut and Meriden/Wallingford.