First Time Workers

America Saves is promoting saving at work for young adults as one effort to increase overall workplace saving. We are beginning our work in this area with a large and vulnerable population, young first-time summer workers from low-income households. These young people are inexperienced about personal finance and are less likely to save any of their earnings. Employment for this group of 16- to 24-year-olds reached 19.5 million in July 2012, as reported by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics on August 21, 2012.


This pilot began in Chicago three years ago through the Economic Awareness Council, lead organizer of Young Illinois Saves. That initial effort showed us that the employee orientation process is an ideal opportunity to motivate newly hired workers to make a savings commitment, sign up for direct deposit, and open a new, or use an existing, bank account to save automatically with very positive benefits.


Our goal was to have youth employees save a portion of their paycheck through direct deposit into an account. The objectives were to have them identify a savings goal, commit to save a portion of their paycheck towards that goal, and set up direct deposit into an existing or new account.

In Chicago, the Economic Awareness Council/Young Illinois Saves managed 10 employment sites with four partner financial institutions: Citibank, Marquette Bank, ABC Bank, and Community Plus Federal Credit Union.

  • 255 (62%) youth made a goal-based savings commitment by taking the Young America Saves Pledge with an average saving per month commitment of $54.
  • 308 (74%) opened new accounts or signed up for direct deposit (74% of total youth) with an average saving per month commitment of $54.
  • The top savings goals included: Education 78%, Motor vehicle 8%, and Emergency 5%.

In Cleveland, Youth Opportunities Unlimited (Y.O.U) managed 107 employment sites with partner financial institution Huntington Bank. 

  • 1,807 (62%) youth made a goal-based savings commitment by taking the Young America Saves Pledge.
  • All 2,939 were required by Y.O.U. to have direct deposit into a newly established Huntington Bank no-fee savings account. The majority made a commitment to save monthly $10-$100 per pay with: 556 saving $10-$25; 688 saving $26-$50; 516 saving $51-$100.
  • The top savings goals included: Consumer Product 30%, Motor Vehicle 23%, Emergency 22% and Education 19%.

In Indianapolis, Keep Indianapolis Beautiful was the employment site with partner financial institution Old North Bank.

  • 61 (88%) youth made a goal-based savings commitment by taking the Young America Saves Pledge.
  • 6 opened a new no-fee linked savings and checking account with Old North Bank as the majority already had existing accounts to take advantage of direct deposit.
  • 67 (87%) youth, a significant majority, signed up for direct deposit, this was a 22% increase from the previous year.
  • The majority committed to save $10 -$25 per pay.
  • The top savings goals included: Motor Vehicle 42%, Consumer Product 19%, Emergency 14% and Education 11%.

For more information and to get involved contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

America Saves Week

February 23 - February 28, 2015.

An annual opportunity for organizations to promote good savings behavior and a chance for individuals to assess their own saving status.

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