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United Way to help working families

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Through increased funding and a broad partnership, the United Way of America aims to bolster the financial stability of the estimated 20 million Americans that hold down jobs but still live below the poverty level.

Over the next five years, United Way will increase by half, to $1.5 billion, its investment in its Financial Stability Partnership, which works to helps low-to-moderate-income people build a more solid financial foundation.

The charity will work with businesses, nonprofits and federal agencies on the initiative, the goals of which are to increase income by helping more families claim the earned income tax credit, reduce the number of people without banking relationships, and use technology to help people access public benefits.

Other steps to increase income include providing on-site job training and workforce development programs, connecting people to nonprofits that can help them reduce debt and improve their credit, and helping them access federal and employer-provided benefits.

To encourage families to save, partners in the program will offer no-minimum checking and savings accounts to eligible individuals, and local United Way agencies will work with families to develop tailored savings plans.

And to help them build assets, the program will promote individual development accounts and provide tools and strategies to help families protect and sustain their assets in the face of crises.

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