Encova Makes $1 Million Gift to Support Ohio Dominican Insurance Students, Establish Academy

Columbus, OH – The Encova Foundation of Ohio has committed a gift of $1 million to Ohio Dominican University (ODU) to establish an endowment fund that will provide scholarship support for students who study in ODU’s Risk Management & Insurance (RMI) program. The gift was announced during a ceremony that took place on Oct. 21, 2020, at Ohio Dominican.

Encova also has committed additional support to fund the creation of a new Insurance & Risk Management Academy (IRMA), which is located on ODU’s campus in the Bishop James A. Griffin Student Center. Overseen by industry professionals and staffed by ODU RMI students, the academy will enable students to gain real insurance industry experience through partnerships that will be established with carriers and agencies throughout Ohio.

Through IRMA, students will be introduced to various areas of specialty within the insurance industry in which they can seek employment, including sales, claims, and marketing. During their experience in the academy, they will gain relevant work experience both on and off campus prior to graduation to help them prepare for full-time employment. IRMA also will sponsor any professional licenses pursued by its student-employees. To learn more about IRMA, visit ohiodominican.edu/IRMA.

“We are very excited to support Ohio Dominican University though an endowment fund and the creation of the Insurance & Risk Management Academy,” said Encova President and CEO TJ Obrokta Jr., who also serves on the board of trustees for the foundation. “We strive to make a difference in the communities in which we live and work, and this contribution helps both students wanting to get into the industry and independent agencies. We look forward to seeing what this partnership will bring in the years to come.”

“One of the most important industries in Ohio that have a bright future and a great need for qualified employees is the insurance industry,” said ODU President Robert Gervasi, Ph.D. “This generous gift by the Encova Foundation of Ohio will remove financial barriers to help ensure that our talented and enthusiastic students have the financial resources they need to pursue a rewarding career in this growing field. We are grateful to the Foundation for its investment in Ohio Dominican’s students, and for our partnership with Encova and Secured Advantage for their help in managing this innovative new center on ODU’s campus, which will prepare our students for success while also supporting our local insurance partners.”

ODU established a major in Risk Management & Insurance in 2014 in response to a workforce study conducted by the Insurance Industry Resource Council (IIRC) that identified a significant workforce gap. According to the U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics, approximately 400,000 individuals are expected to retire from the insurance industry within the next few years. According to a 2016 study by Columbus State Community College’s Center for Workforce Development, between 2016 and 2024, the Ohio-based insurance industry will need to fill approximately 29,000 jobs.

In addition to a bachelor’s degree in RMI, ODU also offers an RMI concentration in its MBA program, as well as certificate. ODU’s bachelor’s and master’s RMI programs are available 100% online.

About the Encova Foundation of Ohio

Encova aspires to be an outstanding corporate citizen in all locations and markets they serve. The Encova Foundation of West Virginia and the Encova Foundation of Ohio support local causes that are strategically managed and mirror the values and interests of Encova’s associates, agents and policyholders. The Encova foundations focus on improving communities and families, promoting education and encouraging wellness. Embedded in their focus is a commitment to helping children succeed, improving communities and supporting industry initiatives.

– Tom Brockman, ODU Associate Vice President for Marketing and Public Relations