Treasurer Deborah B. Goldberg is the Treasurer and Receiver General of Massachusetts. Elected in 2014, Treasurer Goldberg’s focus is to protect taxpayer dollars, bring new levels of transparency to state government and advance policies that break down barriers and create economic empowerment through wage equality, financial literacy, and college savings plans to name a few.
On the day of her swearing-in, Treasurer Goldberg launched a new Office of Economic Empowerment (OEE) in the Massachusetts State Treasury, directed by a Deputy Treasurer. OEE is responsible for administering a broad range of initiatives to enhance economic stability and security. Its priorities include closing the wage gap, increasing access to financial education, improving college affordability, and investing in STEM careers and education.
One of Treasurer Goldberg’s first initiatives in her administration was the creation of the Task Force on Financial Literacy, a group of policymakers, educators, bankers, and advocates responsible for examining the state of financial education in Massachusetts. The Task Force was asked to complete a comprehensive study of access to financial education in Massachusetts for three key demographic groups: K-12 students, college students, and adults.
The recommendations contained in the final report have shaped the direction of financial literacy programming offered by the Massachusetts State Treasury, and are designed to have a broad impact, reach a diverse range of Massachusetts residents, break down barriers, and create opportunity.
SeedMA is a pilot program designed by the Office of the Treasurer and Receiver General of Massachusetts and Massachusetts Educational Financing Authority (MEFA) to help families in eligible communities invest in their child’s post-high school education and training. The pilot program commenced in the Fall of 2016 and currently provides kindergarten students in the Worcester and Monson Public School Systems with an initial $50 deposit to establish a Massachusetts 529 college savings account (also known as the U.Fund College Investing Plan). SeedMA Worcester is a three-year pilot program and has recently expanded to the Town of Monson.
The initial $50 deposits are provided through the Office of the Treasurer and Receiver General of Massachusetts and are funded by the Economic Empowerment Trust Fund, which received its funding for the SeedMA program through public-private partnerships.
Visit SeedMA.org for more information.
Today, women in Massachusetts earn just 82 cents on the dollar. The ratio is even worse for African American women who earn 61 cents, and Latina women who earn 50 cents. Pay equity is not a partisan issue, nor solely a women’s issue. It is a family issue, and it affects the economic health and well-being of our entire state.
On April 12, 2016, Treasurer Deborah B. Goldberg and OEE hosted an Equal Pay Day Conference at the Omni Parker House in Boston and launched EqualPayMA.com, the first website of its kind dedicated to providing citizens and businesses with the tools and resources they need to close the gender wage gap.
The website provides several innovative features, including an “Employer Tool Kit” designed to help businesses identify, understand, and promote equal pay in the workplace; an interactive “Wage Gap Calculator” which uses age and occupation to determine how much the gap costs over one’s lifetime; and an “Email Your Employer” tool which allows users to send their employer an anonymous email to help them learn about the benefits of closing the gender wage gap.
Since its launch, EqualPayMA.com has received thousands of unique visitors by users in every state across the country. As of this date, more than 60 emails have been sent to employers using the “Email Your Employer” tool.
Visit EqualPayMA.com for more information.
The Women’s Economic Empowerment Series is a pilot program designed to help women gain the tools they need to secure their economic future.
The program provides free financial empowerment workshops focusing on wage negotiation, money management, retirement, and investment strategies for women of all ages, ethnicities, economic backgrounds, and levels of fiscal knowledge. These workshops were offered in Fall 2016 in Quincy and Newton.
The Series is facilitated by the Massachusetts State Treasury and the Office of Economic Empowerment, in partnership with Citizens Bank and other businesses and non-profits dedicated to delivering high-quality educational programming.
A Financial Education Fair is a fun, interactive, and effective way to teach critical life skills like saving, spending, and budgeting. Those participating in the fair simulate the day-to-day budgetary decisions they will face based on assigned occupations and financial situations. Throughout the simulation, participants are required to make a variety of financial choices including finding an affordable place to live, saving for retirement, and even budgeting for a new television set.
On June 8, 2015, the Office of Economic Empowerment and the Commonwealth’s Division of Banks announced the creation of the Financial Education Innovation Fund, a new fund providing opportunities for Massachusetts high schools to develop or expand an existing Financial Education Fair.
During the 2015-2016 school year, the Innovation Fund awarded nearly $130,000 to 41 high schools across the state.
On December 21, 2015, Treasurer Deb Goldberg and the Office of Economic Empowerment announced the creation of “Operation Money Wise,” a new grant opportunity for non-profit organizations, public agencies, and Massachusetts institutions of higher education to provide financial education to veterans, service members, and their families.
Military personnel, veterans, and their families face unique personal financial challenges. The purpose of this new grant is to provide non-profit organizations, public agencies, and colleges with the resources they need to offer their own financial education programming to this community in regions all across the state. Program topics designed to empower veterans, service members, and their families can include (but are not limited to) money management, planning for college, and saving for retirement.
In February 2016, five organizations across the Commonwealth were awarded a total of $25,000 in grant funding to expand or establish financial education initiatives for the military community. OEE estimates these initiatives will serve approximately 750 members of the military community, through regional conferences and workshops dedicated to money management, planning for college, and saving for retirement.