The inaugural class of 18 apprentices recently graduated from Zurich North America's certified apprenticeship program, the first such program for insurance professionals in the U.S.

The program prepares individuals for careers in the insurance industry through on-the-job training at Zurich's North American headquarters in Schaumburg while simultaneously attending weekly classes at William Rainey Harper College.

As graduates, they have earned a distinction from the U.S. Department of Labor and an Associate of Applied Science degree in Business from William Rainey Harper College. While gaining the education and experience needed to start an exciting career in insurance, they paid no tuition and took home a salary.

Zurich has committed to having 100 apprentices participate in the program by 2020.