Westfield Insurance Foundation pledges $500,000 to Endow Insurance Studies program at Kent State University


Westfield Center, Ohio and Kent, Ohio, November 6, 2014 - Kent State University announced today that the Westfield Insurance Foundation has made a commitment of $500,000 to the university. These funds will be used to support a Bachelor of Science in Insurance Studies program at Kent State, and to promote career opportunities within the insurance industry. In recognition of this donation, the Campus Tour Center located in the Kent Student Center has been named Westfield Insurance Campus Tour Center.

Training and retaining Ohio’s top talent is the goal of the new Insurance Studies program at Kent State. "The insurance industry provides a number of viable options for students interested in long-term career opportunities, including roles in accounting, entrepreneurship, finance, human resources, marketing, risk management and underwriting," said Jim Clay, Chairman & CEO.

According to the 2016 Job Outlook, published by the Ohio Department of Jobs and Family Services, Ohio’s insurance industry workforce is projected to grow by 7.1 percent. Kent State’s market research projects that the Ohio insurance industry will need nearly 17,000 more professionals by 2016, including more than 2,200 in Northeast Ohio.

"As the latest generation of insurance industries professionals begins to retire, we need a new group of talented individuals to carry on the mission of enabling our customers’ peace of mind and financial stability," Clay added.

"The Westfield Insurance endowment will support industry awareness and scholarships as part of the Insurance Studies program," said Steve Sokany, Interim Vice President of Institutional Advancement and Executive Director of the Kent State University Foundation. "As more students enroll in and complete the program, more career exploration and placement programming will be added to sustain student enrollment and job placement after graduation."

"The new Insurance Studies program offers our students long-term career opportunities in a major growth industry," said Kent State President Beverly Warren. "This gift from Westfield Insurance is the cornerstone of a collaborative partnership that will provide the industry with well-trained and knowledgeable professionals who will become tomorrow’s business leaders."

Westfield has served as a national leader in the insurance and banking industries for more than 166 years. The company serves as a leading advocate for the development of educational initiatives to encourage individuals to pursue careers in the insurance industry. CEO Jim Clay serves as co-chair of the Insurance Industry Resource Council (IIRC), a collaboration of 13 Ohio insurance companies focused on increasing statewide career awareness of the industry talent gap, formed in 2012 by Governor John Kasich. Since 2010, Westfield, along with other industry representatives, has worked closely with Kent State University at Salem to establish an educational program linked to Ohio’s insurance industry.

About Westfield Insurance Foundation
Westfield Insurance Foundation was established in 2005 as an independent private foundation endowed by Westfield Insurance. In keeping with Westfield Insurance values, the Foundation seeks to support safety programs that prevent accidents in homes, cars and businesses; education programs that provide avenues to future employment; and community development programs that improve business and living conditions.

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