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Recruiting the Next Generation of Bankers for Pennsylvania

June 28, 2018 12:00 AM

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Now having a couple of decades of experience as a supervisor, manager, and executive under my belt, I can confidently say that the best part of my job is watching and helping young colleagues transition from college to career, and mature in that career.  My fondest memories, and some of my best friends, are former interns and college students who I recruited and trained over the years.  

While indeed enjoyable and rewarding, recruiting and training the next generation of supervisors, managers, and executives is also critical to any industry -- and to Pennsylvania’s economy.  Beyond the obvious need for individual and organizational succession planning, developing and retaining the talent brings with it so many other benefits.


Too often I hear that the only place to pursue careers in finance are out of state, which is part of the “brain drain​” of educated young people leaving Pennsylvania. This trend should concern all of us.

However, companies can help reverse that trend and seize upon the benefits of recruiting those educated young people who understand the local customers, the local economies, the local workforce, and the local business communities.  What too often is overlooked are careers in financial services available in large cities and smaller communities throughout Pennsylvania. These are highly technical, highly regarded, and in many cases, highly compensated careers in banking, investing, and consumer lending that demand lots of different knowledge and skill sets. Right here in our back yard.

Admittedly, those of us in the financial services industry must bear some blame for failing to communicate how satisfying and rewarding careers in banking can be.  For example, when was the last time you heard the term STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) and thought of banking?  The reality is the modern banking industry has careers in every facet of STEM. Here are just a few of some obvious, and perhaps not-so-obvious, careers:


Governor Wolf and Secretary of Banking and Securities Robin L. Wiessmann are both accomplished private and public-sector leaders, so it should be no surprise their first thought about how to rise to meet the challenge of retaining young educated people for the banking industry was to collaborate to create something greater than the sum of its parts – The Next Generation Bankers Academy.

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Working with the Pennsylvania Bankers Association, Pennsylvania Association of Community Bankers, the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia, we’ve partnered to develop an innovative exciting new program for Pennsylvania students.  

The Next Generation Bankers Academy is a pilot, one-week summer program held in Central Pennsylvania for college students to explore what careers in financial services, or financial regulation, look like. It’s an intensive internship designed to take students outside a classroom and into a bank to understand all the components that go into making a modern bank a bank. It isn’t just understanding deposits and making loans but the comprehensive benefit banks and financial institutions provide their communities, including the commitment to community service and engagement.

Banks and banking culture are undergoing dramatic changes as they adopt new technologies and develop new business models for the post-recession recovery. This program will demonstrate that banks, specifically community banks, serve a tremendous community value and offer exciting and innovative careers.

Do you know of a college student in your life who is looking for an invaluable learning opportunity this summer?  Please forward on details of the Next Generation Bankers Academy to anyone you think may be qualified and interested in a career on banking. 

At the Department of Banking and Securities, we’re committed to helping to improve Pennsylvania’s economy, increase career opportunities, and ensuring an efficient and well-informed marketplace. 

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