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Ohio pitches up to 17,000 insurance jobs to veterans

Ohio’s insurance industry will have 17,000 job openings within the next six years and its looking to hire veterans to fill many of those jobs, Lt. Gov. Mary Taylor said.

Taylor, along with government, education and industry leaders, made a sales pitch Monday to a room full of about 25 service members making the transition to civilian life in the first day of a five-day transition assistance program at the Airman and Family Readiness Center at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base.

Under the Insuring Ohio Futures initiative, insurance firms have partnered with academia and state government to attract more workers, officials said.

With thousands of “Baby Boomers” headed for retirement, the industry will need replacements for those leaving, the lieutenant governor said.

“We want to make sure we employ as many Ohioans in this industry as we can,” said Taylor, a certified public accountant by trade.

The openings will span finance, underwriting and analysis, marketing, sales, technology, law, human resources, and customer services, among other areas.

“It’s a very stable industry,” said Timothy Timmel, Cincinnati Insurance Co. chief operating officer and senior vice president of operations. “It doesn’t ride that recession-depression cycle like other industries do.”

At his company, the rate of retirements has doubled this year. Insurance companies need multi-skilled employees willing to learn throughout their career to adapt to changes, he added.

“This business is changing very rapidly,” he said. “It’s much more technical than it used to be.”

Tim Gorrell, newly appointed director of the Ohio Department of Veterans Services, said veterans must be persistent in their pursuit of a civilian job.

“Looking for work after the military is a full-time job,” he said. “But don’t be discouraged by it.”

Tod Carmony, president of Wayne Insurance Group and a retired two-star general in the Army National Guard, said there’s a “war for talent” in the industry which needs self-starters who can come up with a plan and sell themselves.

The 240 insurance companies in Ohio employ more than 95,000 employees, including 3,200 in the Dayton area, Taylor said. Ohio has the seventh largest insurance industry in the nation with a $17.4 billion economic impact.

The industry has set up a website at www.insuringohiofutures.com for more information.

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