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Insuring Ohio Futures Highlights Jobs for Vets at Progressive Field Media Event

July 2, 2015

Progressive Field, home of the Cleveland Indians, has hosted two World Series in its 20 years and is an iconic part of the Cleveland skyline. In early June, Ohio Lt. Gov. Mary Taylor, IIRC Co-chair Jim Clay of Westfield Insurance and other Ohio insurance industry leaders gathered at the ballpark in front of 38,000 seats to visually demonstrate the tens of thousands of positions the industry needs to fill in Ohio by 2020.

The media event, hosted by IIRC member Progressive Insurance, focused primarily on the opportunities in the insurance industry for military veterans. Matthew Downing, a veteran who works for Progressive Insurance, detailed his transition from active duty to the insurance industry.

Director Timothy Gorrell of the Ohio Department of Veterans Services stated that there are more than 900,000 military veterans living in Ohio, and approximately 35,000 of them are seeking employment.  Every month approximately 1,000 military veterans leave the U.S. Armed Forces and return home to Ohio. This trend is increasing as the military streamlines its operations and reduces forces.

Insuring Ohio Futures seeks to educate military veterans, as well as students, career-changers and professionals, about the rewarding careers in the insurance industry – a stable industry with many opportunities for growth.

The event was the latest in a series of media outreach efforts throughout Ohio. The events are typically held at empty sports stadiums to visually represent the depth of the talent gap and the available opportunities.

Foundations of Insurance Certificate Pilot Program Update

Last fall, the IIRC received a State of Ohio Workforce Industry Partnership Alliance Grant, and it partnered with Columbus State Community College (CSCC) to implement a pilot workforce program built on the CSCC Foundations of Insurance certificate. As work progressed on the Insuring Ohio Futures program, industry leaders noticed that a prominent missing piece in the talent pipeline was the short-term insurance certification option.

The CSCC certificate is comprised of six classes (17 credit hours) over two semesters and prepares students for entry-level customer service representative positions in the industry. Nearly 400 candidates engaged with the program during the recruitment phase, and 83 moved forward with the multistep application process. The final candidates are being screened, and classes will begin in August with graduation expected in May of 2016.

Next up – the chance to replicate the program in other parts of Ohio.