The White House recently announced Harper College will receive $2.5 million to support Apprenticeships on Demand, a new initiative that aims to integrate technical instruction and on-the-job learning to train workers in high-growth and high-demand fields including insurance, IT and manufacturing. The U.S. Department of Labor awarded a total of $175 million to 46 applicants including Harper through its American Apprenticeship grant competition, the single largest investment to date to expand U.S. apprenticeships. Recipients have pledged to train and hire more than 34,000 new apprentices over the next five years. According to the White House, apprenticeships are a proven training strategy for workers to learn the skills that employers need for American businesses to grow and thrive in a competitive global environment. Harper was the only college in Illinois to be selected.
In its grant application, Harper pointed out that its new partnership with global insurance provider Zurich is especially innovative. The program, which will foster the next generation of underwriters and claims professionals, will emulate the longtime successful dual education model in Switzerland. Apprentices will be paid employees of Zurich and earn academic credit and industry certifications along the way. The first cohort begins in January. “It's great to see an important program gain the financial support necessary to make it a success," said Brian Little, head of Human Resources at Zurich North America. “We're looking forward to continuing our work with Harper College to inspire young people to take on new challenges and develop core business competencies in the insurance industry.” Maria Coons, Vice President of Workforce and Strategic Alliances at Harper, said more apprenticeships will be established over time.
An IT security apprenticeship, for instance, is being developed as part of the grant. The funding will also help fund the college’s new manufacturing apprenticeship program, which launched last month. Harper’s efforts will also benefit from a second recipient of the federal grant competition. The Illinois Manufacturers’ Association Education Foundation was awarded $3.9 million to fund the Illinois Advanced Apprenticeship Consortium, which includes the German American Chamber of Commerce Midwest and Harper College. Applications are currently being accepted for the insurance apprenticeship. Learn more at harpercollege.edu.
Harper College ranks among the safest college campuses in the U.S., according to a recently released report by HomeInsurance.com. The national online insurance marketplace conducted a study and determined Harper had the 21st safest campus out of more than 400 college campuses surveyed. Analysts considered data in a 2013 FBI report on the violent and property crimes.
The report also took into account the walkability scores of each city in which a campus resides. Harper’s ranking benefited from an absence of violent crime and a low incidence of property crime. The study looked at institutions that are in accordance with the Clery Act, which requires colleges and universities receiving federal funding to share information about crime on campus and their efforts to improve campus safety. The full report can be viewed at homeinsurance.com/blog/safest-colleges.
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