LIBERTY LAKE, Wash.-Sunkist Employees FCU has become the first credit union to sign with CU*Northwest for a pilot assistance program known as the Small CU Initiative.

The program is designed to provide data processing and management assistance to smaller credit unions. To participate, the small credit union must have a mentor/sponsor that is committed to helping the smaller entity.

Sunkist Employees FCU is based in Sherman Oaks, Calif., has $5 million in assets and serves 969 members with two full-time employees.

CU*NorthWest is a CUSO that was founded in 2005 to provide credit unions with the information solutions and tools. CU*NorthWest is a regional extension of CU*Answers, a Michigan-based CUSO that also provides IT solutions to more than 160 credit unions nationally. CU*Northwest's flagship solution is the CU*BASE Data Processing System.

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