On any given day, Mansfield’s HarborOne U is a hub of activity befitting a true community center, though this one focuses on financial education.
There’s a class room, a conference room and a business-information center with free workspace, Internet access and a resource library with a fax and copy machine, all free of charge, just like most of the classes offered at the community-outreach education center.
The U.S. Small Business Association uses the facility to teach some of its classes, as does the Massachusetts Small Business Development Center. When the space is available, nonprofits such as the Boy and Girl Scouts, and groups like the Women’s Business Network of southeastern Massachusetts use the conference room.
“Our motto here is ‘enriching lives through education’ and that’s what we are excited about,” said Maureen “Mo” Wilkinson, vice president and director of HarborOne U. “When people come here they learn something new and are able to apply it, maybe to get a new job or increase their business.”
The center was opened in June 2010 by Brockton-based HarborOne Credit Union and became an immediate presence in the community. On Jan. 27, the Tri-Town Chamber of Commerce, representing the Massachusetts communities of Foxborough, Norton and Mansfield, honored HarborOne U with its Good Neighbor award for its valued service to the area. Wilkinson happily accepted the award.
“They recognized us for opening our doors to a lot of community groups. They need a place to meet and might otherwise have to pay a fee,” she said. “We do a lot of focus on small businesses and the tools they need. We also do classes and seminars focused on personal enrichment. We have classes on career management and how to find a job. We also do a lot of financial education both for youths and adults,” she said.