JetStream FCU Creates First CDFI Program Position to Meet Low-Income Member Needs and CDFI Requirements

CU Strategic Planning has already landed JetStream Federal Credit Union a $92,500 grant to build the foundation for its CDFI program.

MIAMI LAKES, FL – February 12, 2013 – With more than 75 percent of its members classified as low income, building a community development program to serve distressed members has been a priority for JetStream Federal Credit Union ($152million: 19,000 members; Miami Lakes, FL). As a result, JetStream FCU has created the first position focused on its Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) program to assist low-income members with their financial knowledge, options, and well being. CDFI certification and grant writing firm CU Strategic Planning has played a significant role in the credit union’s endeavor, already landing JetStream FCU a $92,500 grant to build the foundation for its impending CDFI program.

CU Strategic Planning, whose leadership in the CDFI field increased the number of credit unions receiving awards to 22 in 2012 by writing half of the winning applications, counted JetStream FCU’s award in its record breaking round. Its grant was one of only three credit unions to receive a special Emerging CDFI Award (all three credit unions are CU Strategic Planning clients). Emerging CDFI Awards are the only grants a credit union can win before it is certified as a CDFI.

The $92,500 Emerging CDFI Award recognized that JetStream FCU is already serving low income and distressed consumers, allowing it to fund its new bilingual CDFI Community Outreach Program Manager position. Vanessa Ortega, who is bilingual to assist Spanish-speaking members, filled the position as of January 2, 2013. Ortega’s immediate goals include: creating a low-income advisory panel, signing up new community partners, and better connecting with current and prospective members.

According to JetStream FCU’s President & CEO Jeanne Kucey, her credit union actually experienced growth in membership (5%) and loans (14%) in 2012 but was down in deposits because of tight household budgets. “Many of our low-income members don’t have the credit necessary to apply for loans,” Kucey says. “Vanessa’s new position will give us an advantage to help better focus on their needs.”

Overall, Kucey, who is also on the NAFCU Board of Directors, wants to ensure JetStream is collaborating its marketing outreach, lending, collections, and educational efforts – and also managing its CDFI program to meet grant and reporting requirements. “In the bigger picture, we need somebody to pull it all together for us,” she says. “This position will meet those goals, further promoting them once we become CDFI certified.”

The Emerging CDFI Award also funded a business lending feasibility study for the credit union to enter the business lending field in Puerto Rico, where it has a branch, as part of its efforts to build an official CDFI program. “There is next to nothing in regards to financial literacy in Puerto Rico,” Kucey says. “So we want to start offering a program that nobody else is addressing, which will be most beneficial to our members and the surrounding communities.”

“JetStream Federal Credit Union has an amazing story of lending to and educating disenfranchised consumers ignored by banks and preyed on by predatory lenders in Miami and Puerto Rico,” says CU Strategic Planning’s President/CEO Chuck Cockburn. “When credit unions give consumers a chance to help themselves, their financial stability creates opportunities that contribute to broader community revitalization. That’s the goal of creating this new CDFI-focused position – and everybody wins.”

About JetStream Federal Credit Union
JetStream Federal Credit Union is a full-service financial cooperative with $152 million in assets, serving over 19,000 members. The 66-year-old credit union has 8 branches located in Miami, Miami Lakes, Doral and Hialeah, Florida and San Juan, Puerto Rico. Membership is open to anyone (and their family members) who lives, works, worships or attends school in sections of Miami-Dade County, Florida, and anyone (and their family members) who lives, works, worships or attends school in Carolina, Trujillo Alto and San Juan, Puerto Rico. All persons (and their family members) who work in any of our select companies and organizations located in Miami-Dade County and the select areas of Puerto Rico may also join. Membership is open to businesses and other legal entities located in Miami-Dade County, Florida and the select areas of Puerto Rico.  For additional information, visit our website at

About CU Strategic Planning
Headquartered in Tacoma, WA, with satellite offices in San Diego and Boston, CU Strategic Planning is the only strategic planning facilitator in the United States with the mission to help credit unions realize their potential through the International Credit Union Operating Principles. It is widely considered the #1 writer of credit union Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) grant applications. No firm serving credit unions writes and wins more CDFI awards than CU Strategic Planning.  Its “Miracle Makers” have 100 percent success with CDFI certification. Their signature training program, Community Development Certified Financial Counseling, is a groundbreaking software training and accreditation tool being adopted by award winning CDFI certified credit unions across the country. For more information, visit

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