City of Memphis offers student debt reduction program for employees

(Source: WMC Action News 5)
(Source: WMC Action News 5)

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - City of Memphis is the first city in the United States to offer a student debt reduction program for its employees.

City leaders hope the unique program will attract smart, young professionals to dedicate themselves to public service inside the doors of Memphis City Hall.

"Us being the first municipality in the country certainly makes us innovative and cutting edge," said City of Memphis Chief Human Resource Officer Alex Smith.

To apply, you must be an active full-time employee of at least one year with City of Memphis.

Each month, $50 will go directly toward the employee's principle payment on a student loan.

"We've gotten a lot of positive buzz within city hall, and our other locations right now, with city employees very excited about it," Smith said.

Channin Jackson, who works in human resources for City of Memphis, knows how important the help will be for an estimated 500 to 800 city employees. Jackson, too, has outstanding loan debt from earning her Master's degree at Christian Brothers University.

"I think this is an excellent program to offer employees," she said. "Six-hundred dollars a year over the course of time will actually make a huge impact."

"We know that it is competitive and hopefully it will make people who may have not ever thought about public service, interested in public service," Smith added.

The money for the debt reduction program will come out of the general fund in the budget that was approved this week. The program starts next month.

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