News Room

October 17, 2008

"At the 'Invest' conference our community will take strong steps to make El Paso an entrepreneurial community. Now more than ever, sound financial skills are the keys to the 'American Dream.'"

Written by Senator Eliot Shapleigh,


EL PASO –   On October 21-22 the "Invest in the American Dream" conference on financial stability, financial literacy and small business lending will be held at the El Paso Museum of Art.  The keynote speaker is Maria Echaveste, former assistant to the president and former White House Deputy Chief of Staff to President Bill Clinton.

"At the 'Invest' conference our community will take strong steps to make El Paso an entrepreneurial community," said Senator Shapleigh.  "Now more than ever, sound financial skills are the keys to the 'American Dream.'"

In today's knowledge-based world, sound financial literacy is the key to community prosperity.  With the current global financial crisis—founded in financial mismanagement—strategies to promote financial literacy continue to grow in importance. Today, the average saving rate nationwide has fallen from 12 percent of disposable personal income in 1981 to just a fraction of a percent today.  In February, most consumers saved just 0.3 percent, or 30 cents out of each $100 earned, according to the U.S. Department of Commerce Bureau of Economic Analysis.  

The "Invest in the American Dream" conference is a community-driven initiative to turn those figures around and promote wealth creation in our community.  At the El Paso conference, participants will identify and celebrate innovative solutions, set targeted goals, and establish an accountability plan to ensure progress on model financial literacy and wealth creation strategies.  The conference will kick-off a 5-year community-driven initiative centered on:

  • creating wealth and financial stability
  • developing financial literacy
  • facilitating access to capital, and
  • replicating financial "best practices."

Sponsors for the event include Upper Rio Grande Workforce Solutions, AARP, United Way of El Paso, YWCA, City of El Paso, Government Employees Credit Union, Texas Dow Employees Credit Union, First Light Credit Union, El Paso Employees Federal Credit Union, West Texas Credit Union, Region 19 Education Service Center, El Paso Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Greater El Paso Chamber of Commerce, El Paso Independent School District, Ysleta Independent School District, Time Warner Cable, El Paso Affordable Housing, Texas Bankers Association, Anamarc Educational Institute, United States-Mexico Chamber of Commerce, Hunt Family Foundation, El Paso Community Foundation, Jimmy W. Janacek, Phelps Dodge, El Paso Electric Company, Inter National Bank, Compass Bank, and Junior Achievement of The Desert Southwest, Inc., and Bank of the West.

To learn more about the conference and to register, please visit  Seating is limited, so please register now.  On-site registration will be held from 12 p.m. to 1 p.m. on Tuesday, October 21.

What:       "Invest in the American Dream" Conference
                Financial Stability, Financial Literacy and Small Business Lending

When:       Tuesday, October 21, 2008
                  Registration begins at 12:00 p.m.
                  Conference begins at 1:00 p.m.

                  Wednesday, October 22, 2008
                  Conference continues at 8:00 a.m.

Where:     El Paso Museum of Art
                1 Arts Festival Plaza
                El Paso, TX 79901

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