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Olivet College and Thomas M. Cooley Law School establish groundbreaking partnership to support job growth in the insurance industry
Feb 17, 2010

Olivet College and Thomas M. Cooley Law School today formally agreed to establish coordinated curriculum programs aimed at supporting job growth in Michigans growing insurance industry. Representatives of Cooley and Olivet signed a partnership agreement during ceremonies in the Insurance Capital Board Room of the Lansing Regional Chamber of Commerce.


Today, we publicly launch the implementation of Thomas M. Cooley Law Schools new Master of Laws in Insurance Law program, said Don LeDuc, President and Dean of Thomas M. Cooley. Our goal is simple, to make Michigan and Lansing national leaders in the insurance industry, a goal shared by the Lansing Regional Chamber and the Lansing Economic Area Partnership.


This new partnership will further strengthen Olivet Colleges position along with Cooley Law School as national leaders in insurance education, said Don Tuski, President of Olivet College. Furthermore, Lansing can now be known as not only the home of top insurance companies, but top insurance schools.


The partnership agreement will join Olivet Colleges risk management and insurance program with Thomas M. Cooleys juris doctor and master of law programs, creating only the second such educational program in the nation.


In addition to the educational programs covered under the agreement signed today, the two schools also committed to considering creation of additional joint bachelors/juris doctor programs in the insurance area, and opened the possibility of establishing a paralegal program with an insurance emphasis.


This landmark agreement between Thomas M. Cooley Law School and Olivet College is a significant step forward in our community-wide efforts to make Lansing the Insurance Capital of Michigan, said Tim Daman, President and CEO of the Lansing Regional Chamber of Commerce. The insurance industry is a key component of our regions ability to successfully compete in the knowledge-based economy of tomorrow, and now we have the educational support to further development of the workforce needed to make that happen.


The insurance industry has become an enormous economic force in the Lansing region. Insurance companies are responsible for close to 8,000 jobs in the region, and are expected to create another 1,300 jobs by 2014. Expansion projects are underway at Delta Dental, Jackson National Life and Accident Fund Insurance Company of America. Auto-Owners Insurance recently purchased 132 acres in Delta Township to accommodate future growth.


In addition to educational and workforce development programs needed to support growth in the insurance industry, officials at todays news conference also cited the need to reform Michigans regulatory structure to remove unnecessary and costly regulations imposed upon insurance companies, reforming the states tax structure as it applies to the insurance industry and reducing delays and litigation in processing benefits claims.


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