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United Bank receives 'outstanding' rating

CHARLESTON - United Bank has received an "outstanding" rating from the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond in its most recent evaluation of Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) performance.

This represents the highest possible rating of how well a financial institution meets the credit needs of its communities and is achieved by fewer than 10 percent of banks in the nation, the bank said in a news release.

"The 2018 rating reflects a two-year evaluation period of United's loans, investments and services in qualified community development programs. United achieved an outstanding rating in all three categories," the release said. "The Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond commented that United Bank's commitment to assisting low- and moderate-income communities includes being a leader in providing community development loans and community development services within its primary market, along with demonstrating excellent responsiveness to local credit needs through lending and investments."

"At United, excellence in service means more than providing customers with banking solutions; it means using our skills and networks to build vibrant communities throughout our footprint for people of all backgrounds. This rating represents an external validation of that commitment," said Christina Cudney, CRA bank officer.

In the area of community development lending, United doubled its dollar volume lending since its prior evaluation. This includes financing for affordable housing development, resulting in the creation or retention of hundreds of units of affordable housing, according to the release.

"United contributed millions of dollars in responsive, qualified community development investments supporting affordable housing, services to low- and moderate-income individuals, improvements to health conditions in rural communities and economic revitalization. This includes investments in affordable housing development, resulting in the creation or retention of over a thousand units of affordable housing accessed through investments," the release said. "Furthermore, United was recognized for its charitable contributions supporting organizations that develop affordable housing, provide services to low- and moderate-income individuals, create thriving local downtowns through small-business development, and provide job training services and opportunities for un- and under-employed individuals. In addition, it lent nearly half a billion dollars in small-business loans to underserved areas and businesses and another half a billion in mortgages to low- and moderate-income people and communities."

At an institutional level, United was recognized for its bank-wide financial literacy programs including its own Bank at Work and Premier Partners programs, as well as its participation in the American Bankers Association's America Saves Week and Teach Children to Save campaigns. Last year, United Bank employees logged over 30,000 volunteer hours participating in these programs as well as other volunteer opportunities throughout its footprint.

Justice announces federal funding for peer coaches

CHARLESTON - West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice has announced that federal funds have been made available to enable the establishment of peer coaches to assist and support dislocated workers through the transition after a layoff until they're retrained or employed again.

"This program and the great folks at Construction Works of West Virginia will see to it that hardworking West Virginians who have been laid off from their job will be connected to the training and employment services they need to get back into the workforce," Justice said in a news release.

The Labor Liaison Peer Support Project administered by WorkForce West Virginia selected Construction Works of West Virginia, after a bidding process, as the project operator.

The project has been awarded $148,500 for the period of Jan. 1 to June 30. These funds will be used to assist WorkForce West Virginia's State Rapid Response Team to develop a peer coach approach that supports dislocated workers while overcoming the stress of a layoff. Peer coaches will coordinate referrals to the workforce system and their partners according to the dislocated worker's needs.

To learn more about services provided through this program, visit or call 877-967-5498.


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