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ONEONTA, NY, NOVEMBER 13, 2019 - Local IT, Web and Marketing agency Directive has added another perk for its employees as it continues its efforts to enrich the area’s workforce. Beyond health insurance, retirement plans, and other benefits already in place, Directive has begun to offer student loan assistance for its employees to help pay off their student loans.

Offering assistance with educational loan repayments has become a more tantalizing perk for many new entries to the workforce, with the average graduate of the class of 2017 owing almost $40,000. Total student loan debt in the United States is around $1.53 trillion dollars, with New York alone seeing a student loan balance of $73.5 billion among 2.2 million borrowers.

Most companies have not yet adopted this benefit - according to a survey by the Society for Human Resource Management, only 4 percent of employers offer it - although this number is growing due to the mutual benefits that can be seen from such a program. Another study, conducted by Cornell University, the Stanford Center on Longevity, and Fidelity Investments, revealed that 98 percent of 9,000 working individuals surveyed had felt stress in the past three months. For 33 percent of these respondents, that stress came from paying off debt.

Directive employee Courtenay Chambers echoed these findings. When asked about Directive’s new program, Chambers said, “I think it is a huge weight they are lifting off of us.”

By reaching this milestone, there is the hope that Directive will be able to better entice and retain the talents of those graduating from the local colleges and keep them in the area, helping to improve the Oneonta community for the long term.

Chambers went on to say, “I think it will encourage young professionals to seek a career here. I personally feel like I am valuable to this company because there’s a willingness to help us out in a more personal way.”

Another employee, Ken Echard, added that the program is extremely helpful. As Echard put it, “It allows me to focus less on being in debt for the rest of my life and more on the other wants and needs in life that also cost money - a car, your family, a house someday.”

CEO Chris Chase had this to say about the new program: "The student loan assistance program is a real milestone for us and something we have wanted to implement for a long time. We are always striving to make our workplace an inviting place to be employed, with this new program we are now able to make an additional impact on our team members’ personal lives and financial wellbeing.”

Directive has been operating in the area for over 26 years, ensuring that businesses remain productive, protected and growing through their business solutions. Those interested in working there can visit jobs.directive.com to apply.