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26,000 jobs opening in insurance by 2020

Insuring Ohio Futures logoThe insurance industry, an economic pillar for the state of Ohio that employs nearly 100,000 Ohioans, is facing an unprecedented talent gap. A 2013 workforce study by the Insurance Industry Resource Council (IIRC) found the industry would need to hire 26,000 new workers by 2020 in large part due to the retirement of the baby boomers.

The IIRC and Columbus State Community College (CSCC) have partnered on a pilot workforce program built on the CSCC Foundations of Insurance certificate. The certificate is composed of six classes (17 credit hours) over two semesters and prepares students for entry-level Customer Service Representative (CSR) positions in the industry. Among the 26,000 jobs available, the 2013 study identified CSR’s as one of the five most in demand positions.

“We launched the Insuring Ohio Futures program to raise awareness about the wide variety of career opportunities in our industry. A critical step is ensuring that there is a steady stream of qualified, entry-level professionals who will quickly fill the positions needed in insurance and then advance to other opportunities within the industry,” said Bob Restrepo, Jr., co-chair of the IIRC and president and CEO of State Auto Insurance Companies. “This means that we as an industry must look at nontraditional programs that support not only students, but also military veterans, displaced workers and career changers who wish to transition into our industry.”

Insurance guyThe pilot program will be composed of two groups of 24 students, one on the Columbus State Delaware campus and one on the main campus in Columbus. The classes will be blended and bundled, allowing students increased flexibility to balance work and family commitments while they complete the certificate.

Classes will begin in August and the 48 students are expected to complete their studies in May of 2016. At that point any student who has successfully completed the course and maintained a B average (3.0) or better will be guaranteed interviews with the six central Ohio IIRC program partners.

“This short-term certificate presents a tremendous opportunity for those looking to prepare quickly for a career in an important, growing field,” said Dr. David Harrison, president of Columbus State Community College. “This collaboration between the IIRC and the college will expand the pool of talented professionals needed in Ohio’s insurance industry and will serve as a model that can be replicated across the state.”  

Get Started: Anyone interested in attending one of the 14 orientation sessions scheduled between both campuses over the next eight weeks to learn more about the program can visit the insurance pilot program page on the InsuringOhioFutures.com and fill out the information request form. They can also call CSCC at (614) 287-5858 and ask for more information on the Insurance Pilot Program.

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