PNC helps Hershey international workers with financial resources

Cris Collingwood//July 7, 2022

PNC helps Hershey international workers with financial resources

Cris Collingwood//July 7, 2022

PNC’s mobile banking unit helps student workers with banking needs – PHOTO PROVIDED

Hershey Entertainment and Resorts (HE&R) and PNC Bank joined forces to help about 400 international students set up bank accounts while working at Hershey this summer. 

The students, who came to Hershey for work and to explore American culture, help the company keep Hersheypark, Hershey Lodge and Hotel Hershey open for guests when labor shortages are the norm, said Kathleen McGraw, HE&R managing director of corporate communications and community relations. 

The students, mostly from Europe and the Caribbean, need special documentation to establish bank accounts because they don’t have social security numbers, she said. 

PNC stepped in to help. 

Jim Hoehn, PNC regional president of Central Pennsylvania, said the bank’s Office of Financial Wellness set up a mobile unit at its University branch in Hershey to help the students set up accounts so they can receive their paychecks and wire money back home. 

The mobile unit allowed PNC to help the students while not overwhelming the branch office, he said.  

“Hershey Entertainment & Resorts has long been a corporate/commercial client of ours in PNC’s Central Pennsylvania market,” he said. “We are a ‘National Main Street Bank’ which means we serve local customers but operate nationally.” 

HE&R reached out to PNC because the bank has a Bank at Work program and can set up accounts for foreign students using documentation they have, he said. 

“We work with a lot of the larger colleges in Pennsylvania so when international students come here, we are set up to help,” he said. 

Part of that is the bank’s Virtual Wallet mobile banking app that allows customers to initiate some international wire transfers through the app. “This is critical because most of these students don’t have access to a car and their summer lodging isn’t necessarily within walking distance to our branch,” he said. “It takes the financial stress away.” 

McGraw agreed saying the students stay at Elizabethtown College and are provided transportation to and from work so access to bank branches can be difficult. 

At the end of the summer when it’s time to take the money they earned back to their home bank account, it’s convenient for them to be able to take advantage of the mobile app to simply transfer the money they earned, Hoehn added. 

“PNC financial wellness consultants worked with each student for a long while,” McGraw said. “They were here from about mid-May through this week during our onboarding process and worked with our payroll folks so the students can get direct deposit.” 

PNC offered financial education along with opening accounts, Hoehn said. That education includes how to bank in the U.S., how to work the mobile app, how to withdraw money and work with customer service. 

In the past, McGraw said the company worked with a third party that issued checking cards. “This year, the Bank at Work unit came on site, and it was wonderful for us.” 

In fact, she said, Hershey is looking to expand the program for its interns and employees that are new to the area.