College, Insurer Offer Career Apprenticeships

POTTSTOWN PA – An “apprenticeship collaboration” between Montgomery County Community College and United Kingdom-based insurer Aon will help students get a head start on developing their careers as they earn their associate degrees, the college reported.

Aon’s offers apprenticeships in the Greater Philadelphia region as a two-year program that combines on-the-job learning experience with the company and in-school classroom learning at the college. As an “earn-while-you-learn” model, Aon pays apprentices a salary and benefits, and covers tuition, books and fees as apprentices pursue their associate degrees.

The program has been operating in a variety of U.S. locations since its 2017 launch in the Chicago area with 26 initial apprentices. Aon has expanded it to Philadelphia, Houston, Minneapolis, New York, Northern California, and Washington DC. Locally, apprentices work at one of the company’s regional offices in Philadelphia, Radnor and Fort Washington, while attending classes.

More than 100 apprentices, including eight at MCCC, currently work in the Aon program. “That growth wouldn’t be possible were it not for the apprentices themselves,” according to its Vice President of Global Early Careers and Apprenticeships Meghan Parilla. “They are exceptional employees and colleagues.”

Upon successful completion of the two-year program, graduates earn their associate degrees from MCCC, receive a U.S. Department of Labor certification, and obtain an offer for a full-time permanent position at Aon. Students must maintain good academic standing, and meet all Aon performance standards at work for completion.

“Apprenticeships allow us to tap into the full breadth of talent and ability present here in Philadelphia and lower barriers to family-sustaining careers,” Aon Managing Principal Marc Armstrong observed. “MCCC has been crucial to the effort in helping to expand the program here,” he said. “I hope to see more local employers adopting this model.”

MCCC’s first group of students began employment at Aon in August, and this fall started classes at MCCC toward an associate in science degree in liberal studies. Apprentices dedicate a combined 40 hours per week working at Aon and attending classes. Students additionally participate in professional development to enable them to thrive in and acclimate to a corporate environment.

“Knowing that Aon has a proven track record for developing apprenticeship models themselves, while also serving as an apprenticeship outreach ambassador, MontcoWorks wholeheartedly supports this collaboration” with the college, MontcoWorks Executive Director Jennifer Butler reported.

Employers interested in launching similar programs can send an e-mail to

Photo by STIL via Unsplash, used under license