Insurance Company Hosts Program to Keep Jobs In State

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"Insurance is more than going out there, paying claims, and writing policies," said 11th grade Eaton Intermediate student Tyler Wade.

It's a lesson he's learned since his classes began at the Farm Bureau Headquarters, though he'd never considered working in the insurance business before: "Not at all. I never thought about it like that."

He and his 17 classmates spent the first few hours of every school day here, seeing how the business works from the inside, and considering new goals.

It's a program never tried before, but the idea by the Eaton Intermediate School District was well received by everyone; particularly the students who don't have to pay.

"Students can earn nine credits at Olivet College along with certifications in the insurance field...that will land them employment," said Associate Superintendent of Eaton Rapids Intermediate School District Ralph Hansen.

That would mean thousands of dollars saved if these students chose to go to Olivet College, one of the few schools offering an insurance major.

It will benefit all the local insurance companies to have more, and better trained applicants.

"It the tri-county area, insurance is responsible for 8,000 to 9,000 jobs," said Executive Vice President of Farm Bureau Insurance Jim Robinson; particularly looking to hire tech-savvy people.

"We have jobs in information systems, IT, marketing, public relations,"

And now that Tyler knows about more options, "Insurance deals with a lot of legal stuff...that's where I wanna get in," he's more prepared for college.

This is the second year of the program. Many of the students who took it last year already have new internships and jobs. The program is expected to grow into having many more students and classes.

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