Community Financial Empowerment Certification

Community Financial Empowerment Certification and Training program

Are you a social service provider or support staff hoping to expand your own knowledge of personal finance and economic decision-making? Do you work with clients who face issues with budgeting, saving, or spending their money wisely? Do you want to play a role in breaking the cycle of poverty?

You're encouraged to participate in the Community Financial Empowerment Certification and Training program (CFEC), which will build your ability to do financial empowerment work with your clients or in your agency!



All trainings in the program be taken as individual workshops and are open to any interested social service staff (except workshops with a prerequisite, where noted). However, we encourage you to participate in multiple workshops to achieve Community Financial Empowerment Certification credentials and obtain an in-depth understanding of the various facets of financial empowerment. Below, we've outlined how to achieve the Community Financial Empowerment Certification:

Level 1 Certification is available to participants who complete the single four-hour session. This new repackaged Level 1 session combines the information of the previous three separate Level 1 sessions into one, comprehensive class. Participants will leave with knowledge on how to implement financial empowerment tools, tactics, and mentalities into their work as well as with an understanding of why people make the decisions they do through instruction on behavioral economics. 

All Level 1 workshops are offered free of charge and are open to any social service staff. Upcoming Level 1 workshops are listed below, and you can also visit for further dates! Level 1 workshops can also be scheduled specifically for organizations or programs that have an entire staff or portions of a staff that would like to be trained. If that is the case for your organization, please contact

When you complete your Level 1 Certification, you will receive a certificate and acknowledgement of your credential, and your supervisor and/or agency director will also receive notification of your achievement. We encourage you to include the CFEC on your resume as a professional asset!


After achieving Level 1 Certification, you are invited to expand your financial empowerment toolkit with additional trainings. Level 2 Certification offerings will rotate throughout the year, but will include trainings like Advanced Behavioral Economics, Financial Coaching, and My Money Habitudes. 


To earn the Level 2 Certification, you must complete any three (3) sessions, which may include those listed above as well as additional offerings to be announced, within 12 months. Level 2 workshops are presented as continuing education components in which anyone at any level of involvement in the Certification may participate, but only participants who have already completed Level 1 Certification will receive Level 2 credit for them.

Upcoming Level 2 workshops are listed below, and you can also visit for further dates!

  • Savings and the Tools for Putting Money Away: July 1 from 9-11 A.M. at the Metro United Way
  • Dealing with Debt: July 22 from 9-11 A.M. at the Metro United Way.
  • Consumer Rights: September 6 from 9-11 A.M. at the Metro United Way.



Contact us to join the CFEC mailing list and receive updates and invitations to upcoming training opportunities.


Join our Certification Staff!

The Certification program is always on the lookout for new and dedicated facilitators for the program. We are always interested to hear from graduates who are interested in facilitating the Level 1 class, or has a topic of intrigue for Level 2. If this sounds like you, check out this! PDF iconcfec_trainer_-_plain.pdf



Practice the Powerful Wheel with this step-by-step instruction sheet



In 2011, Louisville Metro Community Services was awarded a grant from Living Cities to build on Louisville’s foundational work and create a service provider approach that embeds financial empowerment into the homeless service provider system and becomes a model to be incorporated into all human service systems in the community. The Money Talks project was born out of this grant. (Click here to read a report from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau that highlights the work done in Louisville through Money Talks.)

Since then, we have worked to expand the financial empowerment framework and increase service providers' ability to increase their own financial knowledge and examine their own decision-making; to have meaningful and honest conversations with the people they serve about managing money, choosing financial services and products, and building on assets; and to move the people they serve along the pathway to financial stability. We believe this work can have a positive impact on the service provider, the person being served and their household, and the community. 


We would also like to thank PNC Bank for their generous sponsorship of the Community Financial Empowerment Certification program and allowing us to continue to spread the word of financial empowerment!



Workshop instructors in the Community Financial Empowerment Certification and Training program are subject-matter experts from the fields of social service delivery and administration, higher education, and banking. Instructors include:

  • Katherine Bartlett, Family Scholar House
  • Cory Bledsoe, Executive Director, Louisville Rescue Mission
  • Joi Boyd, Social Service Program Specialist, Louisville Metro Department of Community Services
  • Dr. Kathy Cooter, Professor, Bellarmine University School of Education / Executive Director, Kentucky Council for Economic Education
  • Jocelyn Fetalver, Family Services Coordinator, Family Scholar House
  • Janet Fulton, Owner, Fulton 180 LLC | Coaching, Consulting, and Training
  • Adam Hall, Community Development Relationship Manager, Fifth Third Bank
  • Ann Mitchell, Family and Childen's Place
  • Lucy Miller, Virginia Commonwealth University
  • Erin Waddell, Department of Community Services
  • Caitlin Willenbrink, Center for Women and Families
  • John Young, Legal Aid Society of Louisville



The Certification program is designed to: 

  • create a common understanding of the financial issues and challenges facing clients

  • increase direct service staff’s confidence regarding financial issues

  • increase case managers’ confidence regarding financial issues

  • provide guidance on when and how to integrate financial empowerment into service delivery

  • raise awareness about sound financial education standards and practices

  • create a support system for case managers

  • help sustain and expand financial empowerment efforts in our community

The Community Financial Empowerment Certification and Training program is brought to you by the Louisville Metro Department of Community Services, Advocacy and Empowerment division with the support of the PNC Foundation, the Center for Non-Profit Excellence and Metro United Way.



Unnatural Causes: Is Inequality Making Us Sick? - PBS documentary

Your Money, Your Goals financial empowerment toolkit for social service providers - Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). This guide provides ready-made tools frontline staff can use with their clients to identify and work towards financial goals.

Building Financial Capability: A Planning Guide for Integrated Services from Assets for Independence and the Corporation for Enterprise Development (CFED). This guide provides tips and ready-made tools that administrative-level staff at social service agencies can use to integrate financial empowerment efforts strategically into their existing work.