Minneapolis Black-Owned Bank Partners With Summit Academy OIC To Change The Face Of Finance In Twin Cities

First Independence Bank and Summit Academy OIC plan to increase diversity in the financial services industry with a new training program aimed at preparing and placing graduates in jobs historically not held by members of underrepresented groups.

Classes for the Financial Services training program are scheduled to begin March 25, 2024 at Summit’s campus at 935 Olson Memorial Highway in North Minneapolis. The 20-week program provides training in mortgage loan processing, insurance annuities, securities, and customer service.

First Independence Bank is hoping that the program will attract, train, and place graduates in financial services positions that have been traditionally not filled by women and people of color.

Financial Services students will gain a deeper understanding of financial processes and practices, as well fundamental career and workplace skills. For many program graduates, the average starting wage of $23.50/hour that financial service providers receive will be the start of moving from poverty and minimum wage to a life-sustaining salary. 

Divided into two 10-week phases, the program covers differing objectives and goals in each phase. Weeks 1–10 focus on introductory modules, such as being able to demonstrate personal financial literacy and understand the fundamentals of finance.

Phase 2, weeks 11–20, hones in on the broad concepts taught in Phase 1, provides a more in-depth view of the field, and offers students practice interview skills and understanding of the essential function of loan and insurance sectors.

Before starting their career, students will be required to complete the Securities Industry Essentials Exam (SIE), which is a requirement for anyone pursuing a career in financial services.

The SIE is regulated by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority and will test basic understanding of industry practices, types of products and risks, and industry information.

Financial Services students also benefit from Summit’s robust employer network, which includes companies such as U.S bank, Ameriprise Financial, Wells Fargo, and many other Twin Cities industry leaders.

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