CNA Canada has renewed its partnership with Junior Achievement (JA) of Canada, a global non-profit organization that educates elementary and high school students about work readiness, financial literacy, entrepreneurship, and leadership.
The insurer will work with JA across Canada to deliver two programs: the World of Choices Program, which empowers Grade 10-12 students to succeed in designing career paths and developing the skills to meet tomorrow’s challenges; and the JA Financial Literacy Program, which is designed to help Grade 8 students gain a stronger understanding of financial concept and management skills by making finance fun.
CNA Canada will also sponsor the JA Journey Award, which will be presented to an outstanding student who has taken part in the JA Central Ontario Company Program, a fully virtual after-school program that helps high school students create, develop and run their own business.
“JA’s mission across North America is to inspire and prepare young people to succeed in a global economy. This is a shared partnership for CNA as our belief is to engage our employees to improve the quality of life in our local communities through a culture of inclusion and enabling diverse individuals to thrive and succeed,” said Erin Gattoni, vice president of human resources at CNA Canada. “It’s an amazing opportunity to give back. Our employees across Canada have been both alumni and volunteers in JA programs, devoting their time and sharing experiences and journeys throughout the insurance industry.”
In addition to its primary purpose of enhancing the financial literacy and business readiness of young Canadians, CNA Canada’s partnership with JA also plays a vital role in enlightening young talent about the career opportunities in insurance – an important factor considering the industry’s widespread talent shortage.
“The insurance industry provides an environment to use a wide variety of skills which translate through to different areas of the business, roles and organizations. Once you join the industry you will find an abundance of career and educational opportunities to match your interests and aspire to have a fulfilling career,” Gattoni told Insurance Business: “When we think about the different factors that we’re considering from a talent acquisition standpoint, why not bring that awareness early on into the student’s life to help them understand: What does insurance offer? What are the opportunities that I could explore? How does that align with my passions or the things that I like to do? And who are the people that actually do this?”
“If the students can see themselves in us, and they can see that we’re representing an industry that can deliver diverse options from a career perspective, then we’re hitting our goal. We want to give young Canadians some perspective of an industry that they may not necessarily hear a lot about, but at the same time, we’re also giving back to the community by sharing our skill sets and inspiring and preparing young people to succeed in the future. That is JA’s mission, and it aligns with CNA’s culture of employee engagement and our mission to improve the quality of life in our local communities.”
This renewed partnership with JA is one of many initiatives undertaken by CNA Canada to connect with young talent and local communities. The insurer also partners with universities, such as Wilfrid Laurier University in Ontario, to provide co-op opportunities to the students. CNA Canada also has ties with Career Connections, a division of the Insurance Institute of Canada, where CNA ambassadors visit high schools and universities to educate students and profile careers in insurance. In addition, CNA Canada gets involved in job fairs, mock interviews and coffee chats, among other things, to teach students about the different career options in insurance.
“CNA has a long-standing commitment to the diverse communities in which we live and work, with a strong focus on: community involvement, volunteering, disaster preparedness and recovery efforts, diversity, equity and inclusion, the environment, supporting STEM education, along with our corporate and employee giving,” said Gattoni. “We’re proactive in giving back to the community to make a positive impact – and that’s coming from all levels within the organization – because this truly is part of the fabric of who we are at CNA.”