• Sun. Nov 27th, 2022

Ohio Bankers League, Union Savings expand CSU’s banking program

Students in the Central State University Summer Banking Institute are enrolled in the program’s second class. Photo provided

By Edwina Blackwell Clark

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 Central State students in banks around the region, now offers more bank placements and year-round employment.

Michael Adelman, president and CEO of the Ohio Bankers League, said, “A lot of banks are saying we don’t have young people in the community who want to take up this career. 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.”

This year’s program began 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 a bank. Upon completion of the program, they are awarded college internship credit plus a certificate in Universal Banking.

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.

The program 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.

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.