SCHAUMBURG, Ill., March 2, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- The Zurich North America Apprenticeship Program is now hiring, with positions available for the first time in Atlanta and in select agricultural states supported by Zurich's crop insurance business, RCIS. The insurance provider also is hiring apprentices who will be based at its North American headquarters in Schaumburg, Illinois, and at its New York City office, which welcomed its first group of apprentices in 2020.
Recruiting for Zurich's award-winning program, now in its sixth year, opens as lawmakers and business leaders increasingly recognize apprenticeship as a promising pathway on the road to pandemic economic recovery and a bright future of work.
"We continue to invest in our trailblazing apprenticeship program because our apprentices contribute meaningfully to our business success," said Zurich North America Chief Executive Officer Kristof Terryn. "Apprenticeship programs like Zurich's can help build a skilled workforce with diverse perspectives that has been trained using the latest tools and technologies to meet the challenges of a rapidly changing world."
Launched in Illinois in 2016, Zurich's U.S. program was the first apprenticeship program of its kind to be registered with the U.S. Department of Labor. The Zurich program started with a focus in General Insurance, which is the focus of all the open apprenticeships this year. (Every two years, Information Technology and Cybersecurity apprenticeships are offered.)
The new RCIS Claims apprentices will be based in the Pacific Northwest, Nebraska, and Minnesota or the Dakotas. They will be part of the Claims team that supports Zurich member company RCIS, a national leader in crop insurance, with 3,600 agents who provide crop insurance in all 50 states.
The Zurich Apprenticeship program removes a typical hurdle to professional opportunity: No four-year college degree is required. The two-year program offers a full-time salary, benefits and tuition-paid college coursework. Apprentices who successfully complete the program earn an associate degree, a promotion at Zurich and a Department of Labor apprentice certification. Afterward, some apprentice alumni choose to continue their studies toward a bachelor's degree, with help from Zurich's tuition reimbursement benefit, while working full-time at Zurich.
In 2017, Zurich, Aon and Accenture co-founded the Chicago Apprentice Network to help other companies explore the benefits of apprenticeship. The network has since expanded to include over 40 companies.
Diversity is a hallmark of the Zurich Apprenticeship Program, with people of color representing about half of Zurich apprentices and apprentice alumni. The program attracts veterans of the armed forces, high school graduates or those with an equivalent certification, people wanting to move from a job to a career, and those returning to the workforce after a hiatus, often for family reasons.
The Zurich Apprenticeship Program was recognized in 2020 with a Pledge to America's Workers Presidential Award and a Brandon Hall Gold Award for Human Capital Management. In the same year, Zurich North America helped the City University of New York's Borough of Manhattan Community College create and launch its first apprenticeship program curriculum to support the expansion of Zurich's program to New York. When COVID-19 struck, Zurich and its two education providers, including BMCC and Harper College in Illinois, succeeded in converting the office work and college coursework to a virtual format.
That set the stage for BMCC, which is a top 10 finalist for the $1 million Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence, to provide the curriculum online for Zurich's Atlanta and RCIS apprentices in 2021.
"Helping Zurich expand apprenticeship opportunities in more geographies also helps our institution expand and refine the ways we deliver education to students, even when they can't be in the classroom," BMCC President Anthony E. Munroe said. "It's one way we can help expand access to education that is so critical to improving outcomes for students from underrepresented populations."
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 and include more than 90 percent of the Fortune 500. We've backed the building of some of the most recognizable structures in North America. Our North American, LEED Platinum® headquarters is located in the Chicago area. We employ approximately 9,000 people in North America and have offices throughout the U.S. and Canada. Further information is available at www.zurichna.com.
Zurich North America is part of Zurich Insurance Group, a leading multi-line insurer that serves its customers in global and local markets. With approximately 54,000 employees, Zurich provides a wide range of property and casualty, and life insurance products and services in more than 210 countries and territories. Zurich's customers include individuals, small businesses, and mid-sized and large companies, as well as multinational corporations. The Group is headquartered in Zurich, Switzerland, where it was founded in 1872. The holding company, 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