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Business

New Education Initiative Aimed At Developing Insurance Workforce

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The Kansas Insurance Department is collaborating with state universities and colleges to develop the next generation of insurance industry workers.

The Insurance Department wants to get more people certified and ready to work in the industry, so it created a certificate program for business and finance majors.

Students need to complete 12-credit hours of insurance-related coursework to earn the certificate.

Insurance Commissioner Ken Selzer says they launched the education initiative because Kansas faces a shortage of insurance industry employees.

"Like many professions, in the agency world, there are many mature agents--people who’ve been in their careers for a while and not a lot of younger people coming in," Selzer says. "We’re hoping to change that dynamic."

The certificate program gives students an introduction into the insurance industry and specialties such as life and health, property and auto.

"One for their personal interest, but also as potential employees for insurance agencies, insurance companies and others," Selzer says.

The program is offered at four schools right now: Washburn University, Fort Hays State University, Johnson County Community College, and the University of Kansas-Edwards Campus. Selzer expects Pittsburg State University and Kansas State University to participate in the future. He hopes to build on a foundation insurance course at Wichita State University.

The Kansas Board of Regents and the Kansas Insurance Education Foundation are supporting the initiative.

Insurance companies and financial institutions have contributed more than $260,000 to help develop the program and offer scholarships for students.

The Kansas insurance industry is an $18 billion-a-year industry in the state.

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Follow Deborah Shaar on Twitter @deborahshaar

 
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