Goodwill and Towpath Credit Union Collaborate to Offer Revolving Auto Loan Program

AKRON, Ohio – Jan. 12, 2024 – The Goodwill Industries of Akron, Ohio, Inc. (GIA) is very proud to announce its collaboration with Towpath Credit Union (Towpath CU) to offer a revolving auto loan program to residents of Summit County. GIA serves Summit, Portage, Medina, Ashland and Richland Counties.  Towpath CU is a full-service, not-for-profit financial institution serving those who live, work, worship or attend school in Summit County.

An amazing unrestricted gift of $5 million in 2020 from philanthropist MacKenzie Scott provided the funding to expand transportation supports to GIA’s five-county region. GIA’s Board of Directors designated this gift to address the significant barrier of transportation needs in its local communities as identified by GIA’s outreach to its many community partners. GIA expanded its bus pass and fuel card programs in 2021 to all five counties, but the loan program was significantly more complex to establish. $3 million of the Scott grant has been designated to this endeavor.

GIA’s revolving auto loan program is designed to help individuals that may experience difficulty qualifying for traditional loans or would otherwise be vulnerable to predatory lending. Currently, individuals must be referred to the program by a community agency partnering with GIA, and the program is still in its pilot stage.

“We are very grateful to Towpath Credit Union and its leadership for their unwavering dedication to developing a mutually compliant program to help make transportation dreams come true”, said Nancy Ellis McClenaghan, president & CEO, GIA. “Towpath CU also makes its financial education and counseling program available to teach qualifying participants skills that can help them be successful for the long term. In addition, Goodwill thanks Summit County Department of Job and Family Services and Community Action Akron Summit for their guidance and referring candidates to this pilot program. “

Pictured left to right: Laura Walker, Jeremy Wascak, Cody Perdew, Nan McClenaghan, Michael Sferro, Katie Lee, Kendra Dragomir, Ed Schmuhl, Lisa Dawson, Forrest Boggs.

The first pilot loan was issued earlier this week. Towpath Credit Union will be a servicer of Summit County loans. “My leadership team and I are ecstatic about this program and are honored to partner with GIA for its launch. We look forward to helping many people build their credit histories and overcome transportation barriers, removing obstacles from realizing a better job and a better life”, said Michael Sferro, President & CEO, Towpath CU.

GIA will seek additional loan servicers in all five of the counties it serves. To facilitate the pilot loans, GIA initiated preferred dealer relationships with VanDevere, Fred Martin, Ron Marhoffer and Serra Auto Park for assistance with the identification of quality and safe vehicles in Summit County.  Additionally, GIA has partnered with many social service agencies that assist individuals in accessing GIA sponsored bus passes and fuel cards.


About Goodwill Industries Serving Summit, Portage, Medina, Ashland & Richland Counties
The Goodwill Industries of Akron, Ohio, Inc., is a not-for-profit corporation that helps individuals prepare for, find and retain employment. Operating in the five-county region of Summit, Portage, Medina, Ashland & Richland, the agency was established in 1927. It is a private, independent organization, operating as an affiliate member of Goodwill Industries International. Goodwill helps to directly strengthen the region’s workforce through its employment programs and indirectly through the net proceeds from its retail outlets and business services division. For more information about GIA, visit or call 800-989-8428.


About Towpath Credit Union

Towpath Credit Union is a not-for-profit financial cooperative that provides an effective and viable alternative to for-profit financial institutions for more than 26,000 Members. In addition to providing a plethora of financial services for their Members, Towpath Credit Union strives to act as a force for positive economic and social change. With four branches in Fairlawn, Cuyahoga Falls, North Hill, and Portage Lakes, Towpath CU serves Summit County and offers multiple forms of Membership with an asset size of $198,000,000.00.


Contact:  JoLene Gordon
(330) 786-2519

Contact: Tessa Webb
(330) 664-4753