Chicago Treasurer Conyears-Ervin, BMO to host financial empowerment weekend

ByABC7 Chicago Digital Team WLS logo
Tuesday, September 20, 2022

CHICAGO (WLS) -- On Sept. 30 and Oct. 1, Chicago City Treasurer Melissa Conyears-Ervin and BMO Financial Group will host the "Building Wealth Today for Tomorrow Financial Empowerment Weekend" at the UIC Forum. The event combines the treasurer's two signature events - the Building Wealth Today for Tomorrow Financial Empowerment Summit and the Financial Services Career Fair. The weekend will be a unique opportunity for Chicagoland residents to gain insights into the current financial trends, build relationships to obtain job opportunities within the financial services industry, join workshops on saving money, buying a home or starting a business, and much more.

"Too many Chicagoans, particularly our Black and Brown communities, lack access to the financial literacy tools they need to help them save money and plan for the future, and don't have networks in the finance sector to find a great job. As City Treasurer, I see it as part of my responsibility to expand resources for all Chicagoans and ensure everyone has the chance to build wealth for themselves and their families," Conyears-Ervin said. "I'm proud that my office is hosting the Building Wealth Today for Tomorrow Financial Empowerment weekend with our partner BMO. Building Wealth Today for Tomorrow is an exciting, educational opportunity for Chicagoans across our City to access the financial resources and skills they need to save money, get a good job, and build wealth to break the worsening racial wealth gap for future generations."

Structural inequities and income disparities over time have led to a racial wealth gap that not only remains, but is getting worse, particularly in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. A 2022 study found that Black Americans had one-sixth the wealth of white Americans on average, while a study from 2021 found that for every dollar a typical white household has, a Black household has 12 cents and a Latino household has 21 cents.

"We are so excited to partner with the Treasurer and her office to bring real financial progress to Chicago residents and families," said Eric Smith, vice chair, BMO Financial Group. "Partnerships like these are at the core of our Purpose to Boldly Grow the Good in business and life and exemplify our commitment to build a thriving economy, sustainable future, and inclusive society throughout the communities we serve."

On Friday, Sept. 30, the Financial Services Career Fair will provide an opportunity for diverse candidates from across the city to find new career opportunities in the financial services industry and beyond. Participants will have the chance to engage with more than 50 participating employers on-site including BMO, Wintrust, CIBC, JP Morgan Chase and more. The event will also feature career readiness workshops, resume reviews, chats with career coaches, mock interviews, complimentary professional headshots and other resources.

On Saturday, Oct. 1, the Financial Empowerment Summit will feature free information for Chicagoans on topics related to financial planning and credit building, keys to homeownership, money management and access to capital, real estate, and so much more. The day will also feature keynote speakers Daymond John of ABC's "Shark Tank", Bill Rancic, the first "The Apprentice" winner, hip-hop mogul MC Lyte, and many more.

At last year's Financial Empowerment Summit, over 1,500 Chicagoans joined the virtual event. The virtual career fair included over 1,000 job seekers and 45 participating employers. This year's in-person event at the UIC Forum is expected to attract even more participants from all over the city.

For more information or to register for this free event weekend, visit the city treasurer's website.

About the Treasurer's Office

The City Treasurer's Office is the custodian and manager of all cash and investments for the city of Chicago, the four city employee pension funds, and the Chicago Teacher's Pension Fund. Additionally, the Treasurer's Office manages a number of programs that promote financial education and small business growth in Chicago's neighborhoods. The treasurer is one of three city-wide elected officials in the city of Chicago, with the mayor and the clerk being the others.

In May 2019, Melissa Conyears-Ervin made history when she was sworn in as city treasurer for the city of Chicago, the first African American woman ever to hold the position without prior appointment. As city treasurer, she is committed to using a positive, results-oriented approach with city departments.

She works to restore the public's trust in government-good government-that works for the people and applies an equity lens to all of the office's programs and outreach.