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  • Tech CU CEO Says High-Skilled Immigrants Are Good for Business Growth

    Long-established Global Members Program has helped Technology Credit Union build a diverse membership that includes new-to-country workers.

    San Jose, CA (December 3, 2013) —Technology Credit Union (Tech CU) has long understood the value of reaching out to high-skilled immigrants in Silicon Valley — a strategy that’s paying off, according to Tech CU’s President and CEO Barbara Kamm. For nearly a decade, the credit union has been helping new-to-country technology workers establish and build credit through its Global Members Program, with many of these workers coming from India and Asia. Today, Tech CU has more than 20,000 South Asian and Asian members — approximately 30 percent of the credit union’s total membership — a number that is expected to grow.

    “We project our foreign-born membership will increase significantly in the next five to 10 years,” said Kamm. “This gives us an opportunity to develop important, new customer relationships that will help sustain Tech CU’s deposit and loan growth into the future.”

    Tech CU started its Global Members Program 10 years ago, a natural outgrowth of working with more than 850 high tech member companies in the Bay Area. Since the program’s launch, the credit union has helped thousands of immigrants establish credit and build a financial future in the U.S.

    “We first started with Tech CU when we landed in the Bay Area in 2001,” said Tech CU Global Member Nina Daruwalla, who is also a realtor with Coldwell Banker in Cupertino. “We opened our first checking account back then, went on to get a mortgage, and today I’ve even got my business account with Tech CU. Over the years, our banking relationship has evolved through business referrals — the staff and service have always been exceptional.”

    Tech CU, along with other companies in the tech community, is keenly aware of the critical contributions immigrants make to the Bay Area economy. Several tech giants and software and industry associations, including the Silicon Valley Leadership Group, have pledged to ramp up their efforts in 2014 to push for an increase in the number of visas issued to foreign workers who are able to fill engineering and other high skilled jobs that can’t be filled by Americans.

    "We can’t ignore the influence of immigrants on the tech ecosystem,” continued Kamm, “For example, the Indian American population in California has doubled since 2010, and it doesn’t show signs of slowing. This, and other burgeoning communities, are re-shaping the future of this region, and there are many opportunities for businesses to support them."

    Tech CU’s Global Members Program offers a core set of tools and resources that includes: a loan program designed to assist employed individuals who are new to the U.S. with limited or no credit history; services for conveniently sending money abroad, including Send Money Powered by PayPal™; travel medical insurance for those with visiting family; and more.

    Tech CU also hosts a number of free financial seminars and unique events for this market. For example, the credit union has partnered with the National Immigration Forum to host free citizenship informational seminars throughout the year. Nearly 100 Tech CU employees, members and their families participated in the last event, held in July. The next seminar will be held in late January.

    “These workers and their families have a real impact on our economy,” added Tech CU’s EVP and Chief Banking Officer Joe Anzalone. “Just one example: a cottage industry has developed around helping high skilled immigrants bridge the divide between the U.S. and their home country. Whether it’s supporting their financial needs, helping people secure medical insurance for visiting relatives, or making overseas communication affordable, there are many, many companies in the Bay Area whose businesses are thriving because they’re serving these communities.”

    For more information about Tech CU’s Global Members Program, call 800.448.1467 or visit

    About Technology Credit Union

    Founded in 1960 by the employees of Fairchild Camera and Instrument Semiconductor Division, Tech CU has served the high tech workforce in Silicon Valley for more than 50 years. Today, Tech CU is one of largest credit unions in the country with 70,000 individual, non-profit and business members and more than $1.7 billion in assets. The financial institution is recognized as one of the best managed and strongest in the country. Tech CU’s members have access to 65,000+ surcharge-free ATMs nationwide, online and mobile banking, 10 full-service branches throughout the Bay Area, and comprehensive mortgage, wealth management and commercial banking services.

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