Investing in People

From Illinois State Treasurer Michael Freichs

The Treasurer’s office invests approximately $25 billion on behalf of taxpayers, college savers, and units of local government.

However, I firmly believe we must invest in people. Investing in people creates the building blocks of better neighborhoods and communities. That leads to job creation and stronger local economies.

The Community Uplift Program is our newest tool to help people invest in themselves. We have committed $500 million to flow through local banking institutions to help individuals obtain loans at below-market rates to fund business growth that will lead to more jobs and operational efficiencies.

The Community Uplift Program prioritizes areas across our state that still suffer the lingering effects of the recession. Economists insist the downturn officially ended nearly a decade ago, but too many of us know families still struggling to recover.

Helping people who want to help themselves has been a hallmark of the treasurer’s office since I first walked through the doors in 2015. I firmly expect the Community Uplift Program to complement other tools we offer, including:

College Savings: Bright Start and Bright Directions help parents show a child that college is obtainable. An independent review by Morningstar, a global investment research firm, named the plans among the best in the country.

ABLE: Illinois is a national leader in helping individuals with a disability save their own money for their own needs. Modeled after the college savings plans, ABLE investments allow tax-free growth when spent on qualifying purchases.

Secure Choice: Secure Choice is a retirement savings plan that travels with the worker. Facilitating such savings allows people who appreciate the dignity of work to save for their own retirement and alleviate the pressures of safety-net programs that are supported with state and local tax dollars.

Finally Home: Not everyone enjoys pristine credit. However, that should not become a life-long barrier to home ownership. Finally Home helps individuals with marginal credit obtain that first mortgage and stabilize neighborhoods through increased home ownership.

As the state’s chief investment officer, I believe we must invest money in a manner that supports community development while meeting our primary investment objectives of safety, liquidity, and return on investment. These programs do exactly that. Learn more by visiting

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