A wealth management and financial planning firm that has been holding financial literacy workshops at corporations since 2001 is preparing to open a stand-alone training facility with free advisor-taught classes mostly targeted at millennial professionals.

Barnum Financial Group, part of the Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Co. (MassMutual), is planning an official launch party next month for “The Establishment,” a nearly 1,000-square-foot space in a new shopping center down the street from the firm’s headquarters in Shelton, Conn.

Barnum signed a three-year lease for the facility (also called “the Establishment Barnum”) and will pay $250,000 the first year to get it up and running, says Elizabeth Hiza, vice president of marketing and communications for the educational facility, and chief of staff to the firm’s CEO. This figure includes the build-out, rent, furniture, technology and marketing. The firm expects annual costs to run $100,000 in subsequent years.

“This is definitely a long-term commitment for us,” Hiza says.

Barnum Financial has taught financial literacy at about 200 organizations running the gamut from Fortune 500 companies and small to medium-size companies, to municipalities, hospitals and nonprofits. It plans to hold 1,000 of these “lunch and learn” workshops this year, and has traditionally focused its educational efforts on individuals nearing retirement, Hiza says.

But all of the attention now focused on millennials makes it time to act and help that generation, too, she adds. According to a study funded by the National Endowment for Financial Education, only 24% of millennials demonstrate basic financial literacy.

Barnum’s new space is MassMutual’s third version of the Establishment. MassMutual New York State (NYS) opened the pilot location in 2015 in a shopping center in Buffalo, several miles from its office in Amherst, N.Y. MassMutual Oklahoma launched the Establishment @ Walker Terrace in a pre-existing community event space above its offices in Oklahoma City.

The Establishment was the brainchild of Joseph DiLeo, CEO of MassMutual New York State, and his team. They approached and then collaborated with MassMutual’s main office to create an educational program for millennials in a fun atmosphere in order to encourage this demographic to think about their finances, says Marissa Dinello, marketing director for MassMutual NYS. The name was chosen, she says, “to create some mystery around what the program was and what they’d be walking into.”

MassMutual NYS developed the classes based on client interests. The classes and social media platform it built are also used by the other MassMutual agencies it has formed partnerships with to launch Establishment locations in their communities, Dinello says.

First « 1 2 » Next