Clark State adds banking program to meet demand for workers


A new academic program at Clark State Community College aims to fill a large need in the Ohio and Springfield banking industry.

School and local banking industry leaders have worked together to develop a program that prepares students to work in a field that has many high-paying jobs available right now, especially as many Baby Boomers continue to retire. The banking focus at the school will be offered through the management major, said Amit Singh, the provost and senior vice president of academic affairs.

“We are always looking for the need in the community,” Singh said. “We were hearing from people from the banking association that there is a need for these kind of programs and training.”

RELATED: Clark Statelab prepares students for in-demand manufacturing jobs

Local and state bankers said the need for new bankers in the community and in Ohio is real. About 4,000 people are employed in all financial services in Springfield currently, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

“There is no secret with our demographics that we are going to have a number of retirements over the next five to 10 years,” Security National Bank President John Brown said.

His bank has outstanding young talent already on the roster, Brown said, but will need more. Jobs are going to start to open up in Springfield, he said, and it’s important that an educated group exists and is ready to take those spots.

“Quite frankly if we don’t have the talent to take care of our local community here, there will not be a place for community banks,” he said.

Banking can be a rewarding career, he said.

“It’s a job where you are helping grow a local economy and helping small businesses succeed,” Brown said.

Across the state banking jobs are going unfilled, said Bob Palmer, president of the Community Bankers of Ohio Association.

“There is a talent drain occurring very quickly in our industry,” Palmer said. “The majority of those involved are older and in the later stages of their careers and we are experiencing a large amount of retirement.”

MORE: Clark Stateawards community members for efforts to promote diversity

Many banking jobs are open right now, he said.

“What we are having are people coming in and trying to fill positions and they do not have the basic skill set to work in the industry,” Palmer said.

Courses like the ones Clark State plans to install fall semester will help fill the jobs, he said.

Providing opportunities to students in the in-demand industries is a top priority for Clark State, Singh said.

“We are a community college, that’s our middle name — community,” he said. “Our mission is to make sure we are serving the needs of the community.”

Clark State students in the banking program will also learn about customer service, marketing and personal finance, on top of the fundamentals of banking, Singh said. The initial goal is for 10 students to apply, but the college has the capacity for more.

Attracting young people into the banking profession is a top priority for the industry, Ohio Bankers League Spokesman James Thurston said.

“The need for high-quality education at the college level that’s focused specifically on banking is high,” he said.

Ohio is one of the top banking states in the country, Thurston said, with about 200 chartered banks in the state. About 30 banks with headquarters outside the state also have large ties to Ohio.

The state has about 60,000 bankers, he said, and more than 300,000 people are employed by banks chartered in Ohio across the world.

DETAILS: Clark Statesees increase in students

“We are trying to step up our game to attract new young talent for careers in banking,” Thurston said.

And this program — and programs like it that are developing in colleges across the state — is one way of doing so.

“ “We will be creating a scholarship fund that will offer scholarship to students state wide,” Thurston said.

Banking is more than just lending and financial transactions, he said, it also offers opportunities in marketing, technology, human resources and cyber security. Clark State already offers a nationally recognized cyber security program.

Providing classes and opportunities that result in jobs here in Clark County and the surrounding areas is important to the school, Clark State President Jo Alice Blondin in a statement.

“Clark State is committed to developing the workforce in our region, and the banking degree is a direct response to the need for qualified professionals in this industry,” she said.



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Business

BBB warns job seekers about employment scams
BBB warns job seekers about employment scams

Finding a job can be a challenging task, and scammers know it. Better Business Bureau warns job seekers that not all job postings are legitimate. Some may misrepresent services, offer outdated or fictitious jobs or charge high upfront fees for services that may not lead to a job. Last year, there were over 1,300 complaints across the U.S., Canada and...
Parents get late start to back-to-school shopping
Parents get late start to back-to-school shopping

Nearly a quarter of parents haven’t started shopping for back-to-school items yet, and national retailers are feeling the impact. Of parents surveyed last week, only 13 percent had completed all their shopping, and 23 percent had not started at all, according to the National Retail Federation, which forecast families will spend $83.6 billion...
5 new flight options out of Cincinnati and Dayton airports
5 new flight options out of Cincinnati and Dayton airports

Air carriers have added dozens of new flights out of the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport and the Dayton International Airport in the past year. Cincinnati’s airport just announced that WOW air will add services — bringing discount, international flights to travelers in Southwest Ohio. The low-cost transatlantic airline...
Starbucks introduces their own sushi burrito
Starbucks introduces their own sushi burrito

The coffee giant is at it again, this time jumping onto the sushi burrito bandwagon. Starbucks calls it a Chicken Maki Roll and lists it under sandwiches. The company has labeled the new concoction “a classic California chicken burrito with a twist,” according to the corporation’s press release. Unfortunately for us in Ohio...
Crowds line up in Springfield stores for $700M Powerball jackpot
Crowds line up in Springfield stores for $700M Powerball jackpot

With a near-record Powerball jackpot worth $700 million, a steady stream of customers filed into the Plum Food Mart in Springfield and other stores across Clark and Champaign counties on Wednesday. Plum Food Mart’s owners expected progressively bigger crowds as the clock ticked toward Wednesday night’s drawing, and the business planned...
More Stories