A New Pilot for Your Pipeline
There is no doubt in my mind that our industry has made good progress when it comes to focusing on and investing in filling the talent pipeline.
Talent has been the top industry issue for as long as I can recall. Still, a lot of work remains. Case in point: over the next 15 years, 50% of the current insurance workforce is expected to retire, leaving more than 400,000 positions open, according to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s “The America Works Report (2021).”
While that leaves us with a seemingly overwhelming knowledge gap, the future of our industry has promise. The second class of industry professionals coming out of The Council Academy’s Insurance Professional School recently received the commercial insurance brokerage industry’s new early-career designation, the Accredited Professional in Risk and Insurance (APRI). As we celebrate these deserving designees, it’s a good time to share even more exciting news.
In partnership with the University of Mississippi’s Risk Management and Insurance (RMI) program, The Council Academy is piloting a new certificate in risk management and insurance specifically targeting students enrolled in historically black colleges and universities in the state of Mississippi that do not offer risk management and insurance as a field of study. The certificate opportunity consists of 10 weeks of online study led by University of Mississippi RMI professors as well as career networking and executive-level mentorship. The program introduces students to the world of insurance and culminates in an internship at one of five founding industry partners: Brown & Riding, Cadence Insurance, Gallagher, Ross & Yerger, and Truist. Each of these partners has invested $150,000 to ensure there are no financial barriers for the students’ participation. Upon completion of their internship, the students who are offered jobs will receive free tuition to the Insurance Professional School.
What I appreciated during the kickoff meeting at the University of Mississippi campus last month was that we aren’t sugar-coating the issue at hand: lack of diversity in the industry. The program is squarely focused on recruiting all types of diverse talent who otherwise have no exposure to the industry. To help us better message to these students, the university is working with a minority-owned marketing firm which will focus on attracting and growing a more diverse workforce for our industry.
I’ve never been one to shy away from failure. Many times, failure leads to good and healthy progress. Our objective during the three-year pilot is to learn what works and what doesn’t, making the program better, stronger and repeatable, with the goal of eventually offering it in different regions across the country.
I’m excited for the opportunity this program will present not only to the students seeking a strong and stable career path but also to each of our member firms as they continue to both fill their talent pipeline and make strides in their respective DE&I efforts. Students will be actively recruited through the spring, and 20-30 of them will begin the program next fall. Stay tuned for more updates in the months ahead.