Seeking financially savvy volunteers to help at-risk veterans

June 21, 2016


Contact: William Gee, Marketing & Communications Dept., 804-524-5005,

Financially savvy volunteers sought for new program to help at-risk military veterans

        Virginia Cooperative Extension has scheduled two workshops to train financial management volunteers to help elevate the financial plight of “at-risk” U.S. Military veterans in central Virginia. Dr. Larry Connatser, family financial management extension specialist at Virginia State University, has designed a unique program to address the needs of “at-risk” and “financial tightrope walker” veterans.

            Connatser says there are 1.4 million American veterans at-risk financially, 30,000 of whom are homeless. He describes at-risk veterans as those living in homeless shelters who are receiving health care and financial benefits but are looking for gainful employment and more permanent living conditions. Financial tightrope walkers, Connatser adds, are on the brink of homelessness and facing financial distress.

        Cooperative Extension has scheduled workshops to train and certify persons with solid financial backgrounds (current/retired bank/credit union employees) and those with a thorough knowledge of personal family finance as Master Financial Education Volunteers.  The volunteers will team with extension agents to provide financial literacy information covering credit, debt, identity theft and money management.

            In addition, volunteers will learn how to engage one-on-one with veterans, coaching and encouraging them on ways to rise above their current financial conditions and achieve financial stability.        

            The first two-day workshop will be conducted Tuesday, July 19 and Saturday July 23 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Virginia State University.  The second is scheduled from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Tuesday, August 16 and Saturday, August 20 at the Henrico Extension Office.  To register or for more information, contact Connatser at (804) 524-5253 or email 

            Extension is a joint program of Virginia Tech, Virginia State University, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and state and local governments. Virginia Cooperative Extension programs and employment are open to all, regardless of age, color, disability, gender, gender identity, gender expression, national origin, political affiliation, race, religion, sexual orientation, genetic information, veteran status, or any other basis protected by law. An equal opportunity/ affirmative action employer. Issued in furtherance of Cooperative Extension work,

            Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Virginia State University, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture cooperating. Edwin J. Jones, Director, Virginia Cooperative Extension, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg; M. Ray McKinnie, Interim Administrator, 1890 Extension Program, Virginia State University, Petersburg.