A unique collaboration among Midwest Urban Strategies’ partners – Employ Milwaukee and Principal – helped lead to the creation of a Financial Services Professional Registered Apprenticeship (FSPRA) program. This first of its kind program began in Wisconsin and estimates suggest that it will expand employment among Financial Planners by 15 percent as soon as 2026. Another important benefit of the program is that it will grow the diversity of Financial Planners in the industry.
Dan Buehrle, who serves as a Sr. Regional Managing Director for the Principal Financial Group, was a key player in helping develop and drive the FSPRA. One of key reasons he saw a need for the program was to give job seekers that are new to the financial services industry the tools and exposure necessary to be successful.
“I really give Dan a lot of credit for helping drive the shared vision of what this could mean, not only for the financial industry but for employees looking for opportunities,” said Earl Buford, CEO of Partner4 Work in Pittsburgh. Prior to Pittsburgh, Earl served as CEO of Employ Milwaukee and was also instrumental in the early stages of the development of the FSPRA program.
“One of the entry-level barriers to a career in the financial services industry is the cost of training and licensing,” said Buehrle. “We’ve addressed that issue with the Registered Apprenticeship program as well as provided a platform for people to come learn the business.”
Financial service professionals include financial advisors, investment advisors, and insurance agents. The apprentice program provides funding and support for a full year of training, including more than 2,000 hours of on-the-job learning and nearly 150 hours of related technical instruction.
“It’s exciting to see how this apprenticeship program open doors for diverse hires as well as allowing us to match the skills of dislocated workers and other job seekers with the attributes of successful professionals in these occupations.”
While Principal was the spearhead of the FSPRA, the program is not limited to Principal as an employer. It can be utilized by other financial services companies such as Mass Mutual and Northwestern Mutual and conversations with executives from those (and other) companies, are ongoing. “We have a number of financial institutions participating and we’re excited about the prospect to expand the program,” said Employ Milwaukee CEO Willie C. Wade.
“The opportunity this presents for employers and job seekers extends beyond the State of Wisconsin,” said Midwest Urban Strategies Director, Tracey Carey. “Collaborating across state lines and showcasing this type of program through Midwest Urban Strategies provides the perfect platform to share best practices.”