Insurance Industry Creates Pipeline for Next Generation

Last updated on May 13th, 2019 at 02:36 pm

Just like most industries, the Wisconsin insurance industry is preparing for a severe labor shortage as the baby boom generation fades into retirement and is succeeded by a much smaller generation and workforce.

With that prospect in mind, several insurance companies in the state are partnering with the Wisconsin Foundation for Independent Colleges (WFIC) to establish the Wisconsin Insurance Education Consortium.

The new collaboration will recruit college students to consider careers in the insurance industry.

"We feel this will be a pioneering, national model for the insurance industry," said Anthony (Tony) Warren, president and chief executive officer of West Bend Mutual Insurance Co., in a letter about the program to the CEOs of other insurance companies.

West Bend Mutual is one of 17 companies that have agreed to be charter members in the new consortium. The other charter members are: American Family Insurance Co.; Ameriprise Auto & Home Insurance; Badger Mutual Insurance Co.; Blue Cross Blue Shield of Wisconsin; Church Mutual Insurance Co.; Integrity Mutual Insurance Co.; Jewelers Mutual Insurance Co.; Johnson Insurance; Marsh Insurance Agency; MGIC Investment Corp.; Mortenson, Matzelle & Meldrum (M3); R&R Insurance Services Inc.; Security Insurance Services Inc.; Society Insurance Services Inc.; United Heartland; and Wausau Insurance Cos.

"Many companies are facing as many as half their managers retiring in the next decade.  Insurance is a great industry for Wisconsin. We are excited to help students check it out," said Mark Torinus, president of WFIC.

The insurance industry remains a key employment sector in Wisconsin’s economy, as the state is home to the corporate headquarters of American Family, Wausau Insurance Cos., West Bend Mutual Insurance Co., Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Co. Inc. and Acuity Insurance.

The Wisconsin Insurance Education Consortium has received a $25,000 grant from the Kemper Foundation to help WFIC and 20 private colleges in the state add exposure to the industry in their campus curriculum, professional development and seminars.

The consortium’s first project, the Insurance Education Summer Institute, will take place at Concordia University June 25-30. Twenty-five college students will be recruited to attend the conference, which is funded by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Wisconsin and American Family Insurance.

The students who agree to attend the residential conference will attend seminar classes taught by insurance professionals and will participate in a range of activities, including a golf outing.

For additional information about the event, contact Christy Miller, vice president of operations at WFIC at (414) 273-5980, extension 12.

The insurance program expands the impact of WFIC, which also announced it has received a $35,000 unrestricted grant from Quad/Graphics Inc. of Sussex. The grant supports WFIC’s goal of providing direct support and innovative programming to expand educational opportunities at Wisconsin’s 20 independent colleges.

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