Aspiring branch managers in Mississippi can now complete an apprenticeship, including the classroom work, without ever leaving the branch.
Keesler Federal Credit Union is the first financial institution in Mississippi to partner with a college on an apprenticeship program. The $2.7 billion asset credit union in Biloxi recently joined forces with Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College (MGCCC) to create the Bank Branch Manager Apprenticeship Program at the MGCCC campus in Gulfport.
The apprenticeship program allows apprentices to work full time in their regular position and gain on-the-job training while completing instructional work online.
“Keesler Federal has always placed high importance on employee training, and this partnership with MGCCC will take our branch manager training to a whole new level,” says Andy Swoger, president/CEO of Keesler Federal. “This program not only expands our teams’ knowledge, but provides a career path for managers, assistant managers, and financial services representatives.
“Keesler Federal is proud to be the first financial institution in the state to offer this apprenticeship program,” he continues. “Everything we do at Keesler Federal is to create a better experience for our members. By having better-trained team members, they ultimately will be able to provide better service.”
The program kicked off in the fall of 2018. Nine branch managers will complete the program in the fall of 2019 and another 10 participants will finish by December 2020. During the program, students complete a combination of instructional classes and on-the-job learning.
“Some of these students have worked at branches for years, but this is an evolving industry and you never quit learning,” says Ruth Montana, director of human resources at the credit union. “The combination of advanced classroom knowledge with on-the-job experience is a win-win for everyone involved.”