Employers involved in the Chicago Apprentice Network are embracing young diverse talent by offering an earn while you learn apprenticeship that will offer a pathway to a future career in insurance, technology, and health care. The network now has more than 50 employers that offer over 1,000 apprenticeship opportunities in the greater Chicago area.
“In recent decades, more Americans have earned bachelor's degrees and mid-skills job postings have increasingly required them, a phenomenon known as degree inflation. And yet businesses report persistent skills gaps as well as talent shortages. The cost of a degree, meanwhile, has soared, and the investment is no guarantee of gainful employment. Apprenticeship can more quickly address skills and equity gaps in today's economy. Companies tailor their apprenticeships to their needs, but all combine learning and working. In Zurich's two-year program, apprentices work three days a week. The other two days, they focus on college coursework toward an associate degree. Zurich pays the tuition and a full-time salary and benefits. Apprentices who complete the program have a guaranteed job with a promotion.”
Zurich has also helped expand program operations to New York in 2020 as they were integral in the creation of Borough of Manhattan Community Colleges' first apprenticeship program. The Chicago Apprentice Network continues to create similar networks across the country as they have already looked at expanding into cities such as New York, Washington D.C., Houston, Minneapolis, and Northern California.
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