New strategic direction on talent development for next generation of insurance leaders.
Alexandria, VA, January, 2020 — InvestSM announced a new strategic focus on accelerating workforce development for the independent insurance agency system, including a new apprenticeship program recently approved by the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) to train more workers for skilled jobs within the industry.
Invest is a national nonprofit organization that attracts, educates and prepares diverse people to exciting new opportunities and career paths in the insurance industry and is refocusing its education mission to concentrate more directly on talent development.
Invest’s new strategy is designed to attract more people — including military veterans — to an expanding industry. Large-scale retirements and advances in technology are also creating new career and entrepreneurial opportunities for the next generation of insurance leaders.
With the approval of Invest’s national insurance apprenticeship standards by the DOL, Invest will now begin partnering with local Big “I” state associations, insurance companies and agencies to develop local apprenticeship programs for independent insurance agencies through a General Insurance Certificate.
“Our insurance apprenticeship standards will allow us to quickly develop exciting ‘earn while you learn’ opportunities at the state level and it is truly a ‘win/win/win’ for the insurance industry, employers and apprentices,” said Deborah Pickford, executive director of Invest. “To close the talent gap that currently exists within our industry, we must be creative and innovative in the way we compete for new talent.”
Invest joins several other insurance apprenticeship programs in an “earn while you learn” model and this announcement signals an ongoing shift in the rapidly growing apprenticeship marketplace. Traditionally, U.S. apprenticeships have been focused on trades such as electricity, plumbing and heating and air conditioning, but a new type of “white collar” apprenticeship has begun to emerge, including those within the insurance industry and financial sectors.
With record employment rates in the U.S., many industries have been affected by labor shortages. However, the situation is acute in the insurance industry. A tight labor market, aging workforce and the acceleration of baby boomer retirees has created an ongoing shortage of workers in the insurance industry. The unemployment rate for the insurance industry is 2.6%, compared to the national unemployment rate of 3.5%, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
“Through this new apprenticeship model, we want people to gain first-hand knowledge of how rewarding a career in our industry can be and the unlimited opportunities for professional, personal and financial growth,” explained Pickford. “We work with committed insurance leaders who genuinely care about the success of others and many of those leaders become lifelong mentors.”
Along with the new apprenticeship program to be rolled out into states throughout the year, Invest will also launch a new, refreshed logo.
Invest works with more than 31,000 high school students who study insurance in 46 states through its online insurance education curriculum. Invest continues to broaden its outreach with new partnerships, new schools and new content. As the industry evolves, Invest is sharpening its focus on insurance technology, as well as the vast career opportunities that can be found within the insurance community, insurance carriers and the independent insurance agency system. Learn more at the Invest website.
Invest is affiliated with the Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America (the Big “I”).