On Thursday, officials with UTEP Athletics announced that GECU reached an agreement with Van Wagner to serve as the exclusive credit union for UTEP Athletics.
The sponsorship package is the largest in the history of the UTEP athletic program.
“We are delighted to have GECU as our official credit union,” said Jim Senter, UTEP Director of Athletics. “We are most appreciative of their collaboration and support. They have made a huge impact in El Paso and we feel like our two organizations will continue to forge a win/win relationship that benefits UTEP and this community for years to come.”
Under the new agreement, the PickAxe Rewards credit card will continue to be available to GECU members.
“GECU is proud to announce that we are the official credit union of UTEP Athletics! This is an outstanding opportunity to continue our long-standing relationship with UTEP and we are thrilled to bring innovative ideas to create an unforgettable experience for our community. Our collaboration with UTEP has been ongoing for many years and we are passionate about the future of UTEP athletics,” said Crystal Long, President and CEO of GECU.
GECU will also continue to be a pillar partner for all Miner Athletics meaning their support of the program puts them amongst the most significant in all of UTEP.
“GECU has been an unbelievable sponsor of UTEP over the years,” said Ben Burke, Vice President for Van Wagner. “The entire team at Van Wagner is thrilled that we got to be a part of growing this relationship to new heights. Crystal Long and her team have been outstanding and we look forward to many years with our new Official Credit Union.”
In April of 2018, GECU collaborated with UTEP Athletics on a vision for the future of the Sun Bowl Stadium. Construction is currently underway, with the GECU Terrace scheduled to open its doors in time for the 2020 football season.
Located directly beneath the press box, the GECU Terrace will feature club seats, loge boxes and outdoor cantinas.
GECU Terrace will be a collaborative place for families to gather year-round to support UTEP, and will also impact the lives of community members through GECU’s financial education and free tax preparation initiatives.
On Tuesday, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center El Paso officials thanked GECU for their donation in support of improved health care for the West Texas region.
“We are so grateful to be a part of the incredible work and impact that Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center El Paso is making in our community,” Long said. “We hope that students will achieve their goals through the incomparable resources and opportunities that TTUHSC El Paso provides. We are so proud to partner with universities that believe in the value of education.”
GECU announced a gift of $5,000 to go toward nursing scholarships, and $4,000 in support of the Paul L. Foster School of Medicine’s Medical Student Run Clinic.
Andrea Tawney, Ph.D., associate vice chancellor for Institutional Advancement at TTUHSC El Paso, said she was thankful for GECU’s commitment to health care in West Texas.
“TTUHSC El Paso is happy to be ‘Teamed Up For Health’ with GECU,” Tawney said. “The Medical Student Run Clinic does such important work for the community of Sparks, bringing health care to an underserved area. Scholarships are an investment in students who have a calling to serve our community as nurses. Support from our partners is critical for our students to succeed but also inspire them to push forward and complete their nursing degree.”
The Medical Student Run Clinic provides free primary health care screenings and other health care services to the Sparks community in Far East El Paso County.
Volunteer work at the clinic provides students from the Foster School of Medicine with an opportunity to work in a real clinical environment while also developing a relationship with the community.
In a show of solidarity, GECU President and CEO Crystal Long declared Tuesday as TTUHSC El Paso day with GECU.
TTUHSC El Paso and GECU team members donned “Teamed Up for Health” T-shirts, symbolizing the positive impact the collaboration will have.
GECU, El Paso Electric, WestStar Bank, Hunt Family Foundation, United Way of El Paso County and the City of El Paso all contributed a to Project Vida’s MTAP – the grassroots asset-building economic development project.
Awards include El Paso Electric $10,000; GECU $10,000; WestStar Bank $5,000; Hunt Family Foundation $5,000; United Way $15,333; and the City of El Paso $90,000 from a Community Development Block Grant.
“MTAP engages marginal low- and moderate-income micro-business owners with business and financial literacy, management skill-building, and pathways to job retention and job creation,” Project Vida officials shared via a Friday morning news release.
MTAP transfers the community health worker/promotora model of outreach and trust-building to a business model of financial stability, asset-building, entry into the mainstream economy and growth toward small business status.
From 2013 to 2018, MTAP enrolled nearly 750 qualifying microenterprise owners in the program helping them retain 561 jobs and create 471 new jobs.
For more information on Project Vida or the Microenterprise Technical Assistance Program, contact Bill Schlesinger at (915) 533-7057, ext. 207, or firstname.lastname@example.org
UTEP President Diana Natalicio, Director of Athletics Jim Senter and GECU President and CEO Crystal Long unveiled a vision for the future of Sun Bowl Stadium in a press conference on Friday at the Larry K. Durham Sports Center.
The project will bring spectacular, widespread enhancements to the 55-year-old iconic venue – from a new press box and Sky Lounge to the introduction of the GECU Terrace. Other components of the Sun Bowl project include a renovated concourse with modernized fan amenities, restrooms and ADA capabilities.
“The planned renovation of Sun Bowl Stadium is a key step in our continued campus transformation that enhances the overall experience of our students, faculty, staff and visitors,” President Natalicio said. “We are grateful for the collaboration and support of our longtime community partner GECU as we begin modernizing this iconic facility that serves not only the UTEP campus but the entire region.”
“One of the most beautiful stadiums in college football will become even more breathtaking,” Senter said. “We thank GECU for their partnership, their commitment and their investment in helping get this project underway.”
Located directly beneath the press box, the GECU Terrace will feature club seats, loge boxes and outdoor cantinas. GECU Terrace will be a collaborative place for families to gather year-round to support UTEP, and will also impact the lives of community members through GECU’s financial education and free tax preparation initiatives. It is targeted for completion in 2019, along with the all-new press box and Sky Lounge, which will replace the existing Captain’s Club.
“We’re excited to unveil the GECU Terrace,” Long said. “As a proud partner with UTEP, we work together and share the common goal of improving lives for generations to come.”
Crystal Long, chairman of the board of the GECU Foundation, presented $50,000 to Diana Natalicio, President of The University of Texas at El Paso Tuesday morning.
“The sustained support of generous partners like GECU is critical to helping the talented students of this region gain access to an excellent education,” said UTEP President Diana Natalicio. “We are truly grateful for GECU’s ongoing commitment.”
The gift for the R.C. Morgan Scholarship Endowment Fund will be used for GECU student scholarships and was designed to continue into perpetuity.
“We’re so grateful to have the supporters we do to provide this everlasting gift of education to our youth, the future of our city,” stated Crystal Long, GECU President and CEO. “We’re once again honored to present a $50,000 check to Dr. Natalicio to go toward our student scholarships.”
GECU officials added, “UTEP and GECU share many common goals. The gift of education is reflected back into our community through economic growth and family prosperity, increasing the quality of life across the El Paso community.”
The fund was largely supported by generous hearts in and out of our local community.
Thursday afternoon, I learned about a free tax assistance program that not only supports the community but supports quite a few high school students who are maybe looking towards a future career of being an accountant or tax preparation specialist.
GECU, along with the Coalition for Family Economic Progress (CFEP) officially kicked-off the 2018 Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) as well as the online Free Tax Assistance (FTA) Program.
Ruby Alvarez, Executive Director for El Paso Affordable Housing (HOPE) and GECU Community Development Manager, announced the opening of this year’s tax assistance programs.
Ms. Álvarez introduced the student volunteers, from the GECU partner schools, who will be assisting with tax preparation this year: America’s High School, Pebble Hills High School, Socorro High School, Canutillo High School, and Del Valle.
Last year the VITA program brought in over 14.2 million dollars in refunds by assisting over 8,000 tax returns. Not only did they provide the tax filing services for free, but also allows individuals to speak with a trained volunteer who was able to answer any tax questions put to them.
“During tax session, we all have the same fears, ‘Am I filling out the paperwork, right? Have I included all my deductions and all my credits? Am I paying too much? Do I owe the federal government a lot of money? And, when am I going to get that big old, fat check from the IRS,’” began State Rep Cesar Blanco.
“Thanks to the partnership between GECU, the IRS, the El Paso Coalition for Family Economic Progress, and of course the dedicated volunteers, that help low- and middle-income El Pasoans prepare their income tax,” Rep Cesar Blanco said, “and make sure
that assistance is there, and at no cost, which is very important to our community.”
Last year the office of State Representative Cesar Blanco partnered with GECU to host some tax preparation services, last year it was at Jefferson High School.
“This year I am honored to announce our third one at Burges High School,” said Rep. Blanco.
Blanco also took a moment to reiterate that his office has an open-door policy to the community, reminding all that tax preparation is just one of the many ways he and his office seeks to support, and help the people of El Paso.
VITA has been assisting the community with tax preparation since 2006.
“You shouldn’t have to pay,” said Ruby Alvarez, “that you shouldn’t have to pay to receive your tax return.”
She’s right. It’s your money, why should you have to spend to receive? This program will not only help you file your taxes but will help members of our community to learn valuable skills that will follow them for the rest of their lives.
Original and current proof of identification (photo ID) for you and your spouse (VITA is unable to file taxes for married couples filing separately)
Original Social Security cards for you, your spouse and dependents, or a Social Security number verification letter issued by the Social Security Administration
If you do not have a Social Security number, an official Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) assignment letter may be used for you, your spouse and dependents
Official proof of foreign status if applying for an ITIN
Birth dates for you, your spouse and dependents on the tax return
Wage and earnings statements (W-2, W-2G, 1099-R, 1099-Misc. forms) from all employers
Interest and dividend statements from banks (Form 1099)
A copy of last year’s federal and state returns, if available
Proof of bank account, routing and account numbers for direct deposit
To file taxes electronically on a Married Filing Jointly tax return, both spouses must be present to sign required forms
Total paid for daycare provider and the daycare provider’s tax identifying number, such as their Social Security number or business Employer Identification Number
Forms 1095-A, B or C, Affordable Health Care Statements
Copies of income transcripts from IRS and state, if applicable
If you’re an identity-theft victim, bring your current IRS PIN letter
**Copies of Social Security cards, IDs, ITINs or previous tax returns will not be accepted.
If you would rather do it yourself, click here for a list of online services that will assist you for free January 26 th is Earned Income Tax Credit Awareness Day.
“Each year,” says Ruby Alvarez, “about ninety-six million dollars in tax refunds go unclaimed by taxpayers in the State of Texas who didn’t take advantage of the Earned Income Tax Credit.”
VITA wants to remind you that even if you haven’t earned enough to file taxes, contact them. They can look at your current taxes, as well as go back three years, to see if you qualify for a tax credit.
GECU will refresh its presence in Northeast El Paso with the addition of a new GECU Neighborhood Branch at 9435 Dyer; near Dyer and Diana.
Crystal Long, President and CEO, stated, “This is our second GECU Neighborhood Branch in the Northeast community, and our first in this area. We’re so excited to break ground and bring this branch to life for our members who will benefit from all it will have to offer.”
GECU officials share that the new branch will be built from the ground up, designed for member convenience and accessibility, and will be the first GECU Neighborhood Branch of its kind.
Via a news release, GECU officials added, “Members along the busy Dyer and Diana neighborhood will enjoy the full service neighborhood branch experience. The new location will offer easy access to the branch, convenient hours, and Personal Tellers with the same personal service they’ve seen at other branches. The location will also offer a personal office to open new checking or savings accounts, apply for a credit card or a personal loan, refinance or even apply for a home loan.”
As part of their commitment to El Paso, GECU provides free financial education in schools and citywide while also providing engaging support to community partners like the University of Texas at El Paso, El Paso Chihuahuas, the City of El Paso, and many more.
Visit the GECU website for more information on financial education, membership eligibility, branch and ATM locations, and free online banking. For community initiatives and events, click here. With $2.6 billion in assets and 800+ employees, GECU is federally insured by NCUA.
The groundbreaking ceremony for the new location was held on Thursday, November 30th.
The Socorro Independent School District and GECU will celebrate the grand opening of the first SISD student-run credit union Monday.
“We are thrilled to provide another amazing opportunity for our students to gain real-world experience and skills for a lucrative future in college, careers and life,” said SISD Superintendent Dr. José Espinoza.
“This is a powerful partnership with GECU and I am proud of the great collaboration in our community to give our students an exceptional education in the Sparta Business Academy, at Pebble Hills High School and in Team SISD! We look forward to the experiences and advantages this GECU branch will bring for our students and employees,” Dr. Espinoza added.
The partnership between SISD and GECU will allow students at Pebble Hills High School, which houses the advanced academics program called Sparta Business Academy, opportunities to learn financial literacy, how to budget, operate savings and checking accounts and gain work experience in a financial institution.
The branch will be open for students, faculty and staff. Senior students will be able to work during their practicum time at the branch and have opportunities to work at other branch locations.
Greater El Paso Credit Union (GECU) along with El Paso Community College (EPCC), celebrated the Grand Opening of the first EPCC student-run credit union on Wednesday, April 26th at EPCC’s Valle Verde Campus Student Services Center at 919 Hunter Drive.
Crystal Long, GECU President and CEO stated, “Collaborating with El Paso Community College supports our similar goals of providing higher education and financial literacy to students. These opportunities pave the way to financial freedom and success, which will further elevate our community. We’re excited to grow our relationship with EPCC and look forward to providing financial education and our convenient services to students right on campus.”
The new location is a full-service branch, including an added Virtual Office available for new account openings, loan applications and processing, and more.
“The opening of the GECU branch on the EPCC Valle Verde campus reflects the important partnership between business and education by providing our students work experience in the financial industry, and at the same time offering accessible services to our community,” stated Dr. Myshie Pagel, Instructional Dean of Education and Career and Technology Education.
The credit union is staffed by a team of existing GECU employees and EPCC student positions. The EPCC branch is open to the public, an added convenience to nearby members who live and work near campus.
Annually, GECU provides a $10,000 scholarship donation towards El Paso Community College students. The branch will further emphasize the importance for all students to become financially fit by learning how to budget and manage their money. The GECU/EPCC location at Valle Verde will serve all students, faculty and staff.
GECU, in partnership with El Paso Independent School District and Coronado High School,will celebrate the Grand Opening of the first EPISD student-run credit union on Wednesday, February 1st at 10 a.m. at Coronado High School located at 100 Champions Place.
Crystal Long, GECU President and CEO stated, “Opening a location inside Coronado High School is a great opportunity for students to begin their successful financial journey. By opening up savings and checking accounts and learning how to manage their own finances they can become financially independent, while still in high school. We’re excited to build a relationship with the school and look forward to providing financial education to students.”
“We are a strong supporter of financial literacy in the community. The branch will emphasize the importance for students to become financially fit by learning how to budget and manage their money,” GECU officials added.
The GECU Coronado High School Branch will serve all students, faculty and staff, however the branch is not open to the public
EPISD Superintendent Juan Cabrera said the GECU branch at Coronado will help address one of the concerns graduating seniors have brought up in recent years: the need for more personal finance education.
“Our students are telling us they want us more opportunities for them to learn about personal finance and credit,” Cabrera said. “We are ecstatic that GECU is partnering with EPISD to help us take a huge step toward addressing that need.”
The new location is a full-service branch, staffed by a team of existing GECU employees and Coronado High School student positions. The student employees will be paid and will also receive school credit through their college and career classes.
The Grand Opening will feature a ribbon-cutting ceremony and snacks and refreshments for students, faculty, and staff.