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WWA and Local Workforce Boards Join Forces with Umpqua Bank, Financial Beginnings to Offer Customers Matched Savings Accounts and Financial Coaching

Adding matched savings accounts to the host of Local Board services will help close the wealth gap for customers of all backgrounds across Washington state, with a specific focus on Black, Indigenous, and Latine communities.

OLYMPIA, Wash., – The Washington Workforce Association (WWA), comprised of local workforce development boards and their partners across Washington state, has partnered with Umpqua Bank and Financial Beginnings to begin offering low-income and under-employed job seekers across the state access to financial coaching and matched savings accounts to save for specific personal goals, such as education, housing, or starting/growing a business, that promote economic mobility and stability.

This Matched Savings program is an initiative being driven by the Washington State Department of Commerce and the Community Reinvestment Plan, which is investing in communities disproportionately harmed by the historical design and enforcement of state and federal criminal laws and penalties for drug possession, with a focus on Black, Indigenous, and Latine communities.

“As our local workforce boards work with customers to move them out of poverty and into self-sufficiency, they welcome every tool to help people succeed in their careers and work toward long-term economic stability,” said John Traugott, WWA Executive Director. “Having the expertise of Umpqua Bank and Financial Beginnings, to provide individualized financial coaching with a structured, supportive savings plan, alongside our existing career and training services, will help ensure customers leave our system with a quality job and the foundation laid for long-term stability for them and their families.”

Financial Beginnings is a national organization that aims to address the country’s widening wealth gap through accessible and unbiased financial education for all ages and backgrounds. Their programs are designed to empower learners with the knowledge and skills needed to achieve financial stability and success through culturally responsive education that caters to diverse learning needs.

“Financial Beginnings is excited to work with Washington Workforce Association and Umpqua Bank to empower Washingtonians to achieve their personal life goals. Through our financial wellness lessons and coaching, we can help people have the knowledge and confidence to make the most of this matched savings opportunity – using the power of saving to increase resilience and achieve their dreams,” said Ronecca Norvell, CEO at Financial Beginnings.

Umpqua Bank, harnessing its robust branch network across the state and years of experience successfully supporting Matched Savings Accounts (MSAs), will help Local Board clients establish MSAs with the goal of expanding financial access and promote economic resilience to underbanked community members.

“Umpqua Bank is thrilled to join Washington Workforce Association and Financial Beginnings in providing Matched Savings Accounts, which have proven to help people achieve financial stability and independence,” said Umpqua Bank President Chris Merrywell. “Creative partnerships like this among public, non-profit and private sector organizations are essential to address the complex barriers to opportunity and ensure more members of our community have the chance to succeed.”

Local workforce boards anticipate starting to provide financial coaching and access to Matched Savings Accounts in early October. Go to WWA’s website to learn more and find contact information for the local workforce board in your area. 

“We’re looking forward to getting this next poverty prevention piece in place for the thousands of customers Local Boards serve every year to create a foundation that will keep individuals from falling back into poverty and prepare for a bright and financially secure future,” Traugott said.




About the Washington Workforce Association

The Washington Workforce Association (WWA) is a nonprofit nonpartisan membership organization of the Local Workforce Development Boards (LWDB) of Washington State. The LWDBs are business-led boards that coordinate and leverage workforce investments and strategies with stakeholders from education, economic development, labor and community-based organizations to advance the economic health of their respective communities through a skilled and competitive workforce.

About Umpqua Bank

Umpqua Bank is a subsidiary of Columbia Banking System Inc., (Nasdaq: COLB) and a premier regional bank in the western U.S., with offices in Oregon, Washington, California, Idaho, Nevada, Utah, Arizona and Colorado. With over $50 billion of assets, Umpqua combines the resources, sophistication and expertise of a national bank with a commitment to deliver superior, personalized service. The bank supports consumers and businesses through a full suite of services, including retail and commercial banking; Small Business Administration lending; institutional and corporate banking; equipment leasing; and wealth management. The bank’s corporate headquarters are located in Lake Oswego, Oregon. Learn more at: 

About Financial Beginnings

Financial Beginnings is a national nonprofit organization that empowers individuals to play an active role in their financial well-being. Financial Beginnings’ lessons build knowledge and confidence around personal finance to help people achieve their financial goals such as home ownership, higher education, and secure retirement. Through partnerships with schools, community-based organizations, financial institutions, and volunteers, Financial Beginnings reaches more than 35,000 learners annually. Programs serve all groups but focus on underserved populations. Additional information at


Media Contact:

Bobbi Cussins


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