BATH TOWNSHIP — Students are running their own credit union branch at Bath High School.
It’s not a mock credit union or class project, and it’s more than a new ATM. Superior Credit Union opened a branch in the high school’s cafeteria to introduce the younger generation to financial services.
The student-run branch serves a dual role as a workforce recruiting tool and financial education opportunity.
Superior hired 11 Bath High students who are responsible for signing their peers up for checking accounts and teaching the basics of banking. Sometimes that means showing another student how to use the ATM located outside the cafeteria or helping a peer fill out a direct deposit form.
“We’re basically their support,” said Carson Wireman, a Bath senior who works for Superior’s Bath High credit union.
Wireman and the new staff have spent the past week introducing themselves and the credit union to their peers.
The education angle is important, said Kurt Neeper, senior vice president of business development for Superior. Millennials and younger generations are less likely to visit bank branches, opting instead for mobile apps, ATMs and debit cards. That’s created a void in how financial institutions do business and educate their customers, he said.
“We can’t expect people to know the answers to financial problems and financial questions if we don’t have the opportunity to meet with them,” Neeper said. “This is an opportunity to get out and go to the students and start to develop those good financial habits at a young age.”
Neeper said the Bath High branch will be run similar to other Superior office branches, with a staff liaison on-hand at the high school to advise students when they have more complex banking questions.
But the new branch serves another purpose, this one related to workforce training and recruitment.
“One of thing things that we hear all the time is just how difficult it is to find and attract and retain students and young people in this community and fill our workforce,” Neeper explained. “We think this is a great opportunity.”
This is the second student-run credit union Superior has opened. The first was founded in Cincinnati.
Reach Mackenzi Klemann at 567-242-0456.