DHS to launch insurance and finance program

Published 8:52 am Friday, May 18, 2012

Students at Demopolis High School will have a unique opportunity next year thanks to a grant that will create a new program.

“The Alabama Department of Education provided funding for five Innovative Program grants in five Career and Technical Education clusters,” DHS teacher William Martin said. “The Demopolis City School System applied and obtained funding in the Finance Cluster and the Insurance Pathway. The Demopolis High School Insurance Services Program will serve the students in grades nine through 12 through the Business and Marketing Program with a focus on Insurance Services through the Finance Career Cluster of Career-Technical Eduction.”

Martin will serve as the site coordinator and the instructor for the program, which is made possible by a $150,000 grant.

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“Participants will receive opportunities to explore career options, participate in credentialing opportunities as well as practicum and apprenticeship opportunities,” Martin explained. “One grant requirement is that our insurance program serve as a demonstration site for Best Practices and as a presenter of Best Practices in workshops sponsored and/or supported by the Alabama Department of Education. In addition, the program must develop and share exemplary resource materials with visiting LEAs and the Alabama Department of Education to assist sites in planning and/or replicating the program.”

While the program may seem somewhat unusual for the high school level, its creation comes as a result of organizers recognizing the job opportunities that exist in the insurance industry.

“The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data show the insurance industry provided 34,978 jobs in Alabama in 2008, accounting for about $2 billion in compensation,” Martin said. “According to statistical employment data attained from the Demopolis Chamber of Commerce, near 20 percent of all employment opportunities in the local area are insurance and/or finance related. The Demopolis High School Insurance Services Program will point the students in the direction of prosperity in lieu of poverty. A competent workforce is a great sales pitch for the Chamber to recruit business and industry for the Black Belt, thus providing jobs.”