Written By: Ted Digges
There are two mega trends going on right now that have converged to create a terrific opportunity for both the financial services industry and the men and women who have honorably served in the armed forces of the United States. First, the financial services industry has an aging and demographic challenge and would welcome an infusion of skilled individuals. Second, the over 375,000 of our Nation’s veterans and their spouses, who will transition each year into the civilian workforce, are looking for a meaningful second career where their skills can be utilized. To address these trends, The American College established a program called the Penn Mutual Center for Veterans Affairs (PMCVA).
The mission of PMCVA is to empower veterans and their spouses with educational support and career opportunities in the financial services industry. The crown jewel of the program is the full scholarship awarded to active duty, veterans (disabled or transitioned within five years) and their spouses. Scholarship recipients can earn their specific designation for any of those offered at The American College, as well as the two Masters degrees: Master of Science in Management (MSM) and Master of Science in Financial Services (MSFS).
The full list of designations include:
- ChHC®—Chartered Healthcare Consultant®®
- CLU®—Chartered Life Underwriter®
- REBC®—Registered Employee Benefits Consultant®
- ChSNC™—Chartered Special Needs Consultant™
- FSCP®—Financial Services Certified Professional®
- CLF®—Chartered Leadership Fellow® (Field or Office)
- ChFC®—Chartered Financial Consultant®
- CFP®—Certified Financial Planner®
- CASL®—Chartered Advisor for Senior Living®
- CAP®—Chartered Advisor in Philanthropy®
- RICP®—Retirement Income Certified Professional®
The American College, located in Bryn Mawr, PA, is a non-profit educational institution for financial services professionals. Veterans are uniquely qualified for a career in the financial services industry because they come from a culture of service and “can-do.” In addition, veterans are typically comfortable operating in an environment that requires attention to detail, compliance, and appreciate different cultures and backgrounds. With the increasing complexity of tax, estate, insurance, retirement and college planning, there is a real need for individuals of integrity to help others address life’s major milestones with confidence and success. Veterans can step in and fill the need so many are looking to be filled.
Many of our post 9/11 veterans have struggled finding the next phase of their lives. The Labor Department reports that this demographic has consistently had an unemployment rate about 50 percent higher than the national average. The unemployment rate for armed forces spouses, especially in the 18–24 year range, is even higher. There
are a lot of veteran support organizations out there doing wonderful things for our veterans, and there are financial services organizations that are doing a superb job serving veterans, but there isn’t an organization out there that has the focus on serving veterans who are in the financial services arena. The really nice aspect of filling this niche is that PMCVA compliments and creates synergies with other organizations supporting veterans in job searches and fulfilling their financial needs. ` Many current AFC designation holders work with veterans, are the spouse of a veteran, or are veterans themselves. Since many of these individuals qualify, the scholarship opportunity presented at The American College represents an excellent way to earn new credentials, expand their network or launch a new career. PMCVA recently awarded a scholarship to an existing AFC designation holder. As the wife of an Army chaplain on active duty, she was fully engaged in counseling soldiers. By pursuing a ChFC® designation, she is looking to expand her repertoire for those she was counselling, which will ultimately benefit them.
To find out more about The American College, or the PMCVA scholarship program, check out the website at: http:// veterans.theamericancollege.edu/ or call 610-526-1517.
Ted Digges is the Executive Director of The American College’s Penn Mutual Center for Veterans Affairs. He is a retired Navy Captain and currently holds a Series 7, 66, and life insurance, health and annuities licenses.