Twin Lakes, Wisconsin and Denver, Colorado Case Studies Provide Lessons Learned That Other Jurisdictions Can Adopt to Strengthen the Financial Wellness of State and Local Employees

As many state and local employees face increased financial challenges and stress amid the coronavirus pandemic, a new report provides examples of two local jurisdictions that have successfully implemented financial literacy and education programs to help improve the financial security of their workforce and the surrounding communities.

Sponsored by the Wells Fargo Foundation and conducted by the Center for State and Local Government Excellence (SLGE), Case Studies Of Successful Local Government Financial Wellness Programs, is available here.

The report highlights two local governments that have successfully implemented financial wellness programs to address the needs and preferences of their respective workforces – one in Twin Lakes, Wisconsin, and the other in Denver, Colorado. The case studies describe the programs implemented, outcomes, challenges each jurisdiction faced, and lessons learned.

While the geographic and demographic characteristics of the two jurisdictions and their approaches to employee financial wellness vary, the case studies show many similarities in terms of lessons learned and promising practices that other states and localities can adopt and/or adapt to meet the unique needs of the communities they serve.

“Knowing the financial challenges facing state and local employees, it is encouraging to see jurisdictions implementing programs that are improving the financial well-being of the public workforce and the surrounding community,” said Rivka Liss-Levinson, report co-author and SLGE research director. “We know that financial wellness programs make good business sense, resulting in more productive and engaged workers, improved morale, lower absenteeism, lower stress, and lower healthcare costs. We hope this research provides valuable insights and ideas for state and local leaders looking for ways to offer financial wellness programs for their employees, programs that ultimately improve employees’ ability to deliver vital public services,” she said.

Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, recent research from SLGE found that the vast majority of state and local employees (88 percent) were worried about their personal finances and financial decisions, with many worrying while on the job (66 percent). SLGE research also finds that few public employers currently offer financial wellness programs, but employees want these programs and believe that they are important.

Along with the International Public Management Association for Human Resources (IPMA-HR), the National Association of State Treasurers’ Foundation (NASTF) and Wells Fargo, SLGE recently released a financial wellness toolkit. These resources include: a series of reference materials and guides on hosting virtual and in-person financial wellness conferences/meetings; a customizable speaker’s financial wellness toolkit; and fact sheets on existing state financial wellness programs. All of these materials are available here.


The Center for State and Local Government Excellence (SLGE) helps local and state governments become knowledgeable and competitive employers so they can attract and retain a talented and committed workforce. SLGE identifies leading practices and conducts research on public retirement plans, health and wellness benefits, workforce demographics and skill set needs, and labor force development. SLGE brings state and local leaders together with respected researchers. Access all SLGE publications and sign up for its newsletter at and follow @4GovtExcellence on Twitter.

Media Contact:

Kelly Kenneally | 202.256.1445 | [email protected]