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As college students begin to embrace the true nature of our industry, the message becomes even more important.

By Eric Gilkey

Last month’s cover story on CLM’s big push towards replacing “claims adjuster” with “resolution specialist” sparked a lot of discussion, including this email from Burke Christensen, director of Eastern Kentucky University’s risk management and insurance program:

“I just finished reading your article, ‘The Resolution Revolution,’ in the April 2015 issue of Claims Management. You are right on target. The task of replenishing the ‘old pros’ as they retire is a problem facing the entire insurance industry, not just the claims industry. Data available from the Bureau of Labor Statistics indicates that the industry will need to fill almost 500,000 jobs by 2022.

“The millennials who are students in programs such as EKU’s have made the decision that they want a career in our industry. They understand that ours is the only industry that brings a check to help resolve difficulties and put people back in their worlds after a disaster strikes. There is a line of succession forming to replace us as we retire, and you will find it in university risk management and insurance programs.”

College campuses are proving to be ground zero for changing perceptions of the industry, as confirmed by Gallagher Bassett’s aggressive recruitment on them. The message we send to these students about the good our industry does has never been more important, but let’s not forget to pay attention to the message that these students are sending us by choosing to study in these programs and participate in things like CLM’s internship program: they are starting to listen to what we have to say, and that’s a great first step.

Eric Gilkey is executive editor of CLM Magazine, a publication of the Claims and Litigation Management (CLM) Alliance. He may be reached at eric.gilkey@TheCLM.org.

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