A new apprenticeship program has been launched in Grand Rapids Michigan. Grand Rapids Community College is providing students with the skills and training they need to become qualified health insurance agents by partnering with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan. Students will learn basic business skills and receive on-the-job training with industry professionals that will help them develop their skills and pursue a career in the health benefits industry. All expenses are fully funded through grant funding, so students are not expected to pay tuition for any of the classes.
“The apprenticeship is set up as a 430-hour program that will provide an overview of the health benefits industry. It will take students about a year to complete, said GRCC spokesperson David Murray. After completing the program, students’ students will take a state licensing exam and can earn an apprenticeship certificate from The U.S. Department of Labor. Blue Cross developed the program in partnership with GRCC and West Michigan Works!, and the first cohort of students started in the fall 2021 semester. The goal of the program is to inspire a diverse population of students to see the health insurance field as an interesting and financially rewarding career path, said Jeff Connolly, senior vice president and president, West Michigan, and Upper Peninsula at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan. Access and knowledge of employee benefits and insurance are pillars of a strong local economy,” Connolly said in a prepared statement. “Our goal is to help the region build a qualified pool of licensed individuals who may begin to become agents within the next 14 to 24 months and even own their own agencies someday.”
These programs will help many employers to upskill their workforce in the manufacturing, construction, and medical industries as well as provide career opportunities for high-demand positions throughout the community. The goal of the program is to prepare the future leaders of our workforce while also making sure they are ready for the workforce right away. Each participant will also be screened by Grand Rapids Community College for the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act which provides additional financial support and services to eligible members.