The Hartford, with an eye on generating its next generation of customer service and claims employees, is beginning an insurance apprenticeship program.

The property/casualty insurer is launching the effort in partnership with the Connecticut Department of Labor, Arizona Department of Economic Security and local community colleges. As designed, the program will offer an insurance-specific curriculum, paid on-the-job training and mentoring to equip students for key customer-facing roles in The Hartford’s claims operation.

The program is registered with the U.S. Department of Labor, which provides tuition assistance for participating students through its American Apprenticeship Grant Initiative.

John Kinney, The Hartford’s chief claims officer, said that the insurer places major importance on attracting and developing customer-facing talent, and the new program makes that mission more effective.

“This apprenticeship program will help us recruit and retain skilled claims professionals outside of the traditional college track, and students will gain education, training and a full-time position at a company where they can grow their career,” Kinney said in prepared remarks.

The Hartford is launching the program in partnership with Capital Community College in Hartford and Rio Salado College in metro Phoenix, with classes beginning in June. Students completing the two-year program will be eligible for full-time employment with The Hartford, in addition to earning their associate’s degree from their respective college. Through these partnerships and others in development, The Hartford plans to bring on 200 apprentices by 2020.

Students will complete 61 credit hours of college coursework and 2,400 hours of paid on-the-job-training at The Hartford claims center in Windsor, Conn. or Phoenix. The curriculum includes courses in insurance-specific topics as well as critical thinking, business analytics and communications to help prepare students for future leadership roles. Graduates will earn registered apprenticeship credentials certifying their occupational proficiency, and when they become full-time employees of The Hartford, they will be eligible for additional tuition reimbursement to complete their bachelor’s degree.

The Hartford has long trained current and future employees through its Hartford School of Insurance, though a spokesperson said the new apprenticeship program is a separate enterprise. The insurer’s latest job training effort comes as recruiting and training the next generation of insurance employees has become an increasing concern for the industry at large, as the P/C industry’s aging workforce retires.

An ongoing effort involving The Institutes, MyPath, Valen Analytics, The Jacobson Group, InVEST, the Property Casualty Insurers Association of America, Hamilton Insurance Group, Lloyd’s of London and others has focused on attracting millennials and other younger employees to the P/C insurance industry.

Details about The Hartford’s insurance apprenticeship program are available at

Source: The Hartford