WILBERFORCE — A unique Central State University career-development program for Ohio’s banking industry has received a significant endorsement from Ohio’s leading trade association for banks and thrifts.
The Summer Banking Institute 2018, which started as a partnership between Central State and Union Savings Bank, now has a third partner — the Ohio Bankers League, which represents 230 banks in Ohio. The 10-week summer internship program, which trains and then places CSU students in banks around the region, now offers more bank placements and year-round employment.
The innovative program, which is a great example of a public-private partnership, was the idea of Louis Beck, chairman of Union Savings Bank, whose branches serve Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana. Year one results were so positive that Beck scaled up the program by soliciting the involvement of the Bankers League so more CSU students could be placed as interns.
“I give credit to Louis,” said Dr. Fidelis Ikem, dean of the CSU College of Business. “As this program grows, we could become a center for training future bank employees for the state of Ohio and Louis Beck has been a major part of driving toward this goal.”
This year’s program began May 14 with 23 students, which is a little more than double the number of participants from last year. After four weeks in the classroom, the students will complete a six-week internship at one of seven participating banks around Southwest Ohio.
In the classroom, students are exposed to different functions of the bank such as marketing, accounting, mortgage lending, commercial lending, and retail banking among other topics. Upon completion of the program, they are awarded college internship credit plus a certificate in universal banking.
“A lot of banks are saying we don’t have young people in the community who want to take up this career,” said Michael Adelman, president and CEO of the Ohio Bankers League. “The Summer Banking Institute looks like a great opportunity to give a flavor of what banking looks like.”
He said the program’s structure is what makes it unique because “students are being brought into a classroom setting to really ensure they have a baseline knowledge of banking and then we take that cohort of students into a bank.”
The program also addresses a critical Ohio workforce need. Evan Kleymeyer, executive director of the Ohio Bankers Foundation, said currently Ohio has about 60,000 bankers, but the expectation is that 20,000 of those positions will become available over the next 10 years. The foundation works on issues of financial literacy and building the next generation of bankers. He said two issues they see in the industry are a slow pipeline and a need for more diversity.
“We love the (CSU) program and we think it makes sense for our members,” Kleymeyer said. “Our vision is eventually we could have 100 kids going through the program every year.”
The participating banks are Union Savings Bank; Guardian Savings Bank; The Park National Bank of Southwest Ohio & Northern Kentucky; LCNB; 1st National Bank; Peoples Bank; and Monroe Federal.
Of the nine participants last year, seven were hired permanently to work at various Union Savings Bank locations. Sharonda McDaniel, a senior accounting major, said she had not considered a banking career before her participation in the Summer Banking Institute last year. Today, she works part-time in the Union Savings Xenia branch.
“I learned so much about credit, interest rates, the federal reserve,” McDaniel said. “The four weeks in class were the best part. If we had just jumped into the industry, I would have been lost.”