Training Provides Entryway To Insurance Industry

Todays News


The insurance industry holds a surprising amount of opportunity in the Sarasota area, but even if people living here know that, how do they break in? A new program from CareerEdge Funders Collaborative and the Women’s Resource Center could help more people take their first step into a lucrative field.

Free 4-40 Customer Service Insurance Training, one of CareerEdge’s Bridges to Careers programs, will provide prospective job applicants with training to earn a key certificate for entry-level insurance employees. Working with State College of Florida Manatee-Sarasota, a three-week class will be offered at the Women’s Resource Center in Sarasota. 

“The 4-40 is a way to an entry-level job, and one where we have a lot of job openings,” says Mireya Eavey, executive vice president of the Greater Sarasota Chamber of Commerce. “Starting wages are $16 an hour, and employers are telling us that’s just the beginning. These individuals will be going into an industry with a lot of growth potential.”

It’s a certification many individuals earn through online prep and testing, but through the new program, students will work with an SCF instructor, and will hear from local insurance employers who come in as guest speakers. The first three-week class runs Oct. 21 through Nov. 7, with classes taking place from 9am to noon from Monday through Thursday.

For employers, it’s a chance to build the talent pool in an industry where demand for workers is expected to grow.

“The Sarasota area and Southwest Florida as a whole is growing,” says Russ Bobbitt, President and CEO of Purport & Martin Insurance Agency. “It’s not only growing in tourism and construction, but in technology. It’s growing in manufacturing and in a number of other very attractive areas. The good thing for the insurance industry, especially on the agency side, is we are able to hook into that growth. We need skilled, motivated individuals to work with all of those businesses and assist then with insurance needs.”

The 4-40 license is a versatile one, Bobbitt says, that provides an introduction to a broad array of skills needed in insurance.

The only cost to students will be a criminal background check, which runs about $47 and must be completed for individuals to earn their 4-40 insurance license regardless. Candidates can register on the CareerEdge website and must do so by Sept. 30. 

Bridges to Careers

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