Council member aims to help city employees tackle student loan debt

Council member aims to help city employees tackle student loan debt

CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - Council member P.G. Sittenfeld and City of Cincinnati officials are rolling out a program, called the College Affordability Assistance Program (CAAP) initiative, aimed at tackling college debt.

"Student loan debt in the United States has reached a crisis point, now at $1.2 trillion," said Sittenfeld, chair of Council's education committee. "And it's crushing people, it's limiting their futures, it's holding back the U.S. economy."

The CAAP Initiative educates employees of the City of Cincinnati about an opportunity to lessen student loans for working in the public service industry. The initiative will also give them the support needed to enroll in the program.

Sittenfeld looked in to Congress' 2007 College Cost Reduction Act, which allows student loan forgiveness for people who go into public service jobs, and found that some of the City's 1,500 employees with college degrees could be eligible.

Sittenfeld believes this program could save Cincinnati's workforce millions of dollars.

"Without an initiative like this, trying to keep up with these payments delays or prevents some of the other purchases that help fuel out economy; buying a car, buying a home, pursuing more education in order to achieve additional skills for a more advanced career," he said.

After rolling out the program to City employees, the council member and other city officials plan to help other government agencies and non-profit organizations enroll their employees.

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