NU Online News Service, Oct. 11, 11:26 a.m. EDT

InVEST, the insurance industry’s classroom to career education program for high school and college students, is celebrating its 40th birthday, the Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America said.

“Since it was founded in 1970 at Hollywood High School by the Independent Insurance Agents of Los Angeles, InVEST has been educating students about the insurance industry and how to become better insurance consumers,” said Heather Minkler, InVEST board chair and chief executive officer of Clark-Mortenson Agency, an independent agency in Keene, N.H., in a statement.

The InVEST financial literacy program continues to grow and is currently in more than 180 high schools and community colleges across the country, a total of approximately 5,500 students. InVEST has changed over the years to adapt to evolving teaching styles, technology and trends. Free resources available to InVEST educators include curriculums, computer software, presentation kits and interactive games.

“With more than 60 percent of the insurance industry’s employees over the age of 45 and the need to find new talent becoming more apparent each year, the InVEST program is critical not only to the future of the independent agency system but to the insurance industry as a whole,” said Robert Rusbuldt, Big “I” president & CEO. “With the average age of an agency principal around 54, the InVEST program is laying the groundwork to replenish our workforce and it may be the program that ultimately saves our industry.”

The program benefits from the support of numerous insurance organizations, hundreds of agencies, insurance brokers and volunteers. It provides the insurance industry with motivated and talented professionals through a support structure of state associations, board members, national staff, teachers and the many industry professionals who work in the field as classroom liaisons.

More information about InVest is available at www.investprogram.org.