VALPARAISO │ Money Smart Week in Northwest Indiana kicked off Saturday with Designing Your Financial Future at Ivy Tech Community College.
Presented by the Northwest Indiana Money Smart Council, the financial literacy fair offered attendees tips on using soft skills to get a job, how to start a business, budgeting, identity theft, financial recovery, building credit and the value of serving the community.
This marks the first year Ivy Tech is a partner in Money Smart Week, joining Indiana University Northwest as a participating institution of higher education. IU Northwest will host its annual financial resource fair Saturday.
Dian Reyome, Northwest Indiana Money Smart chairwoman, said it was OK to start out with a small program at Ivy Tech, do a good job with it and then allow it to grow.
“We had one person with financial difficulties who came today and was able to have one-on-one counseling,” Reyome said. “That’s what this is all about. As long as we help the individuals who come today, we all feel it’s a great success.”
Mandy Chalk presented a class on using excellent soft skills to land a job. The associate director of career services at Ivy Tech, she focused on communication skills, attitude, teamwork and professionalism.
“I think these skills are important because a lot of time in college we focus on the hard skills that can be measured, but we really need to emphasize other important people skills,” she said.
Gary Brownlee, business adviser for the Indiana Small Development Center, said his class on how to start a business was useful for attendees looking to take such a path.
“Hopefully what this has done is give them a flavor of some of the different skills and aptitudes they would need in order to be successful,” he said.
Jeannete Sosa, of Valparaiso, is an Ivy Tech student who felt attending the financial fair would be beneficial.
Sosa, who is deaf, said through her interpreter, Joanne Snyder, that she couldn’t believe how wonderful the information was.
“Every single class I’ve had information I haven’t known,” she said. “I learned at least one thing I never knew before. This is a great opportunity.”
Indiana University Northwest will host its financial literacy fair from 8 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. Saturday. For more information, visit www.moneysmartweek.org.