The Chicago-Northwest Suburban chapter recently took an advantage of a one-of-a kind opportunity to promote engagement with the next generation and promote the new initiatives such as InsureMyPath and Insurance Careers Month. For its February chapter meeting, the chapter hosted 7 of the 24 first ever insurance apprentices in the U.S.
When the chapter board learned about Zurich insurance’s celebration of the start of the apprenticeship program it started as a partnership between the company and a local community college (Harper College in Hoffman Estates, IL), the board quickly agreed that they should invite them to attend their next chapter meeting free of charge. In fact, the speaker and topic they had already lined up for their February meeting was ideal for this. The speaker was Jim Basilone, Regional Executive for The Institutes and he spoke on InsureMyPath and other ways The Society and The Institutes can help with career planning for all stages of your career.
The 24 apprentices were chosen from 144 applicants and spend 3 days a week working at Zurich and the other two in class. The program was supported by a grant from the government and the labor department partnered with the carrier and the college. The program is part of a larger initiative of the Obama administration to promote white collar apprenticeships in the U.S. modeled after those in Europe, including Switzerland. The program was recently celebrated at an event hosted by Zurich where the Deputy Secretary of Labor, the U.S. ambassador to Switzerland, and the Swiss ambassador to the U.S. spoke.
At the chapter meeting, the ambassadors learned about the benefits of the CPCU and other designations, asked many questions, and showed a great deal of genuine interest and appreciation for the opportunity to learn about them at this, the start of their insurance careers. Hopefully, they will share their experience with their colleagues as well.