Veterans Are Key to Filling Insurance Industry Job Shortage in Ohio

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Originally published to InsuringOhioFutures media room. Click here to view original release.

Insuring Ohio Futures Offers Career Awareness Program 

CLEVELAND, Ohio, Aug. 5, 2013 – The state of Ohio wants to recruit veterans, but this time it is not for military jobs. Insurance companies in Ohio face a dramatic shortage of career professionals, a talent gap that could harm the industry’s standing as an economic engine for the state. Lt. Gov. Mary Taylor made the announcement in Cleveland on Monday, August 5 that veterans can be a large solution to filling that gap.

A public-private partnership is now taking concrete steps with the launch of Insuring Ohio Futures, the first effort in the nation designed to attract skilled workers to the insurance sector. The launch earlier this year of Insuring Ohio Futures and the InsuringOhioFutures.com website initiated the process of recruiting the next generation of insurance employees to the industry to help maintain Ohio’s place as a leader in insurance.

“Thanks to Gov. Kasich’s leadership, insurance industry leaders developed a comprehensive plan to increase awareness, provide more training opportunities, and ensure these high-paid, high-skilled positions are filled by a new generation of trained professionals,” said Taylor, who also serves as director of the Ohio Department of Insurance. “Veterans are key to the success of this initiative.”

A study conducted by Columbus State Community College’s (CSCC) Center for Workforce Development found that more than 17,000 new jobs in the insurance sector will need to be filled in the next five years as baby boomers begin to retire, creating a critical shortage of skilled workers. The study also pointed to career openings at nearly every level in Ohio. There are 256 insurance companies with home offices in Ohio, not to mention the hundreds of companies that also operate in the state.

Ohio is the seventh largest insurance state in the nation with more than 100,000 employees and an annual statewide economic impact of nearly $6 billion.

Veterans are Key to Industry Success

Monday’s event at Cuyahoga County Veterans Service Commission is part of a series of regional events designed to highlight key elements of the Insuring Ohio Futures program, in this case an outreach to veterans.

"For more than 237 years, our Soldiers, Marines, Sailors and Airmen have been there to protect all Americans from foreign and domestic enemies,” said Bryan McGown, a retired veteran and employer outreach specialist, Cuyahoga County Veterans Service Commission. “They now have another opportunity today to carry on this tradition of exemplary service to the citizens of the United States, and the State of Ohio, by insuring Ohio futures.”

Insurance leaders in Northeast Ohio agree that veterans offer skills transferable to the insurance industry.

“The unemployment rate among veterans is almost always higher than the national average, and these openings in insurance provide us an opportunity to help,” said Jim Clay, group leader of Westfield Insurance and co-chair of the Insurance Industry Resource Council (IIRC), the consortium of 14 Ohio insurance companies that are leading the effort. “Veterans have the skills to fill a great number of positions in the industry.”

Tod Carmony, president and CEO of Wayne Insurance Group and a retired two-star general in the Army National Guard, joked that he couldn’t spell insurance when he entered the industry 35 years ago as a claims adjustor after serving active duty.

“Just like the military, we are taking care of people who are in tough situations,” Carmony said. “If you’ve been successful in the military, you are going to be successful in the insurance world.”

InsuringOhioFutures.com

The IIRC has identified three key target audiences that will have a lasting impact on the insurance talent gap. Students, career-changing professionals and military veterans each bring a unique ability to address the industry’s talent shortage. Those groups now have easy access to information about the wide array of insurance positions and available opportunities.

InsuringOhioFutures.com is live and stands ready as a vital and inclusive resource for those interested in exploring career opportunities in the insurance industry. The website clears up misconceptions about the industry (for example, the notion that insurance jobs are mostly sales positions) and offers the following information and tools:

  • Ask a Pro: Allows job seekers to ask questions and connect with seasoned insurance professionals.

  • Career Survey: Offers job seekers a tool to learn more about possible insurance career paths, which align with their goals, interests and skills.

  • Career Paths: Offers insight on popular insurance careers including details on each profession, daily responsibilities, education requirements, important skills, average salaries and projected job outlook for the Ohio industry.

  • Resources: Provides information for students, veterans and career-changers to make informed decisions on an insurance career.

  • Videos: Offers the ability to hear firsthand testimonials from insurance professionals regarding the wide range of opportunities in insurance.

  • Ohio Insurance Industry Information Bank: Provides company listings by one of five Ohio regions, as well as direct links to the companies career resources to and to available insurance jobs in Ohio.

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The Insurance Industry Resource Council (IIRC) is a collaboration of 14 Ohio insurance companies that have aligned for a statewide career awareness initiative to address the coming industry talent gap. Formed in 2012 after Gov. John Kasich challenged the industry to develop a long-term strategy to combat the talent shortage, the IIRC has overseen the building of a public-private coalition consisting of insurance companies, insurance trade associations, institutions of higher learning and public officials all focused on attracting new talent to Ohio’s insurance industry. 

Contact:

Brent Maurer
Paul Werth Associates
(614) 296-3103 cell
bmaurer@paulwerth.com

Celina Fabrizio
Paul Werth Associates
(614) 745-9462 cell
cfabrizio@paulwerth.com

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