You'll hear it here first. Find the latest news from Zurich North America.
SCHAUMBURG, Ill., April 27, 2022 /PRNewswire/ -- To power the expansion of the Zurich Apprenticeship Program this fall, Zurich North America is onboarding two additional education providers. Northeast Iowa Community College (NICC) will deliver agribusiness curriculum to apprentices in Zurich's crop insurance business. Harold Washington College will provide coursework to downtown Chicago apprentices based in three Zurich business units: U.S. National Accounts, including International Programs; Middle Market; and Life, Accident and Health.
The pioneering Zurich Apprenticeship Program, launched in 2016, is hiring more than double the typical number of apprentices for the cohort that will start the program in August. Zurich is currently recruiting for 75 positions based in different areas of Zurich's business in 16 states. Cities include Atlanta, Chicago, Houston, New York City, Overland Park (Kansas), Philadelphia, San Francisco, Schaumburg (Illinois) and Winston-Salem (North Carolina). Crop apprentices will be in states such as Idaho, Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota and Washington.
This year's cohort will be the largest in the history of Zurich's U.S. program, which was created to widen Zurich's talent pipeline and open new earn-and-learn career pathways for non-degreed talent, including high school graduates, career changers, those re-entering the workforce after a hiatus, and veterans.
Zurich starts a new U.S. cohort every year. From their first day, Zurich apprentices earn a full-time salary and benefits, including health insurance and paid time off. Apprentices work three days a week at Zurich and focus on coursework two days. Zurich covers their tuition. Upon completion of the two-year program, apprentices earn an associate degree and a Department of Labor apprentice certification.
Approximately 14 businesses and functions at Zurich are hiring apprentices this year, some for the first time. There are opportunities in underwriting, claims, sales, IT, cyber, crop insurance, life, international programs, communications and more.
Demand for apprentices to help serve farmers
There's a significant increase in demand for apprentices to support Zurich's crop insurance business, RCIS, which serves farmers in several states. This increased demand led to the Zurich Office of Apprenticeship's new collaboration with NICC in Iowa, which will provide agribusiness-focused curriculum to crop insurance apprentices through its remote learning platform.
The NICC curriculum will include agriculture, business and general education courses relevant to agribusiness and insurance. Most classes are synchronous online, meaning apprentices will have live interaction with instructors and advisors using cutting-edge conferencing tools.
Harold Washington College, part of City Colleges of Chicago, will provide education to apprentices based at Zurich's downtown Chicago office.
Harper College in Palatine, Illinois, will continue to provide education to apprentices based at Zurich's North American headquarters in Schaumburg, northwest of Chicago. Borough of Manhattan Community College will serve Zurich apprentices in New York and in key expansion cities, via remote learning. In 2020, when Zurich decided to expand to New York City, Zurich helped BMCC establish its first apprenticeship and Risk Management and Insurance curricula.
"We are excited to expand our apprenticeship program once again," Kristof Terryn, CEO of Zurich North America, said. "Working with NICC and Harold Washington College, in addition to Harper College and BMCC, will help us meet a clear and critical business need. It also will create meaningful career and education opportunities for motivated individuals who otherwise might not have access to them. Through education and on-the-job learning, apprentices develop skills that have tremendous value at Zurich and in the marketplace. Hiring people representing a variety of backgrounds, experiences and perspectives helps us to better serve our customers and communities."
'The first of its kind'
NICC created an online agribusiness program five years ago, making it possible for NICC to serve Zurich crop insurance apprentices coast to coast.
"Our new collaboration with Zurich to provide 14 of their apprentices with Associate of Applied Science degrees in Agriculture Business is the first of its kind at Northeast Iowa Community College," said Bruce Bearinger, NICC Dean of Agriculture, Animal Science and Transportation. "But we are already seeing other local agribusinesses show interest. I believe programs of this nature will be a large portion of the future success of community college career and technical education."
Harold Washington College has provided apprenticeship curricula to other companies that are part of the Chicago Apprentice Network, which Zurich co-founded with Aon and Accenture in 2017. The network has grown to over 70 employers today.
"We are proud to add Zurich North America as a leading employer that can provide students a fast track to great careers through apprenticeship," said Dr. Daniel Lopez Jr., President at Harold Washington College. "This is exactly what our college is here to do. We can deliver on our mission thanks to employers who are committed to investing in the communities where their people live and work."
Apprenticeship is common in Switzerland, the home of Zurich Insurance Group, of which Zurich North America is part. Zurich North America adapted the Swiss model when it launched its program, which became the first of its kind to be registered with the U.S. Department of Labor. For the first few years, Zurich apprentices were based exclusively at the company's North America headquarters in Schaumburg. In 2020, the program expanded to Zurich's New York office. In 2021, it expanded to Zurich's Atlanta office and Zurich's crop insurance business. Last November, Zurich announced its plans to expand to several more cities.
The Zurich Apprenticeship Program offers the opportunity to launch a career with a premier provider of commercial insurance products and services. Lifting degree requirements and covering the cost of college coursework removes two barriers to launching a promising career in business. This opens the door to people from underrepresented communities, contributing to diversity, inclusion, equity and belonging at Zurich and in the insurance sector.
About Zurich North America
Zurich North America is one of the largest providers of insurance solutions and services to businesses and individuals. Our customers represent industries ranging from agriculture to technology. Zurich North America is part of Zurich Insurance Group (Zurich), a leading multi-line insurer serving more than 55 million customers – both people and businesses – in more than 210 countries and territories. Founded 150 years ago, Zurich is transforming insurance. In addition to providing insurance protection, Zurich is increasingly offering prevention services such as those that promote wellbeing and enhance climate resilience. Reflecting its purpose "to create a brighter future together," Zurich aspires to be one of the most responsible and impactful businesses in the world. It is targeting net-zero emissions by 2050 and is one of the world's most sustainable insurers, as shown by the S&P Global Corporate Sustainability Assessment. In 2020, Zurich launched the Zurich Forest project to support reforestation and biodiversity restoration in Brazil. The Group has about 56,000 employees and is headquartered in Zurich, Switzerland. Zurich Insurance Group Ltd (ZURN) is listed on the SIX Swiss Exchange and has a level I American Depositary Receipt (ZURVY) program, which is traded over-the-counter on OTCQX. Further information is available at www.zurich.com.
SOURCE Zurich North America