Impact: The Insurance Industry's Contribution to Community Development

Argo's Mark Watson and young professionals at Formula E site
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An increasing number of young professionals are turning to the insurance industry to build fulfilling careers. The rise of insurtech is partly responsible. The use of advanced technologies to squeeze savings and efficiency from the conventional industry model is attracting emerging experts in artificial intelligence, machine learning, natural language processing, data management and other similar disciplines.


“It’s always been important for insurance companies to invest in young people who have the talent and ambition to shape the future of the industry,” said Gary Grose, Argo Group’s producer management and marketing leader. “This need is especially critical now that the world is becoming more and more integrated through technology.”


Argo Group is one insurance company that isn’t waiting for the new generation of tech experts to beat a path to its door. The specialty insurer is expanding its philanthropic efforts to encourage students to become involved in events that combine STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) and adrenaline-fueled extreme sports. The company, which sponsors Dragon Racing of the FIA Formula E circuit, took advantage of the tour’s stop in New York City this summer to invite nine local high-school students to go into the team’s garage before the race and watch technicians prepare their four cars. The invitation gave the students, who take part in robotics competitions, the opportunity to get up close and learn about the advanced mechanics behind the electronic cars.


Argo's Mark Watson with future young professionals
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Argo then went further. During the visit, company CEO Mark E. Watson III announced a $10,000 matching sponsorship would be awarded to the robotics teams at George Westinghouse High School and Transit Tech High School. Both schools are in Brooklyn. Argo will match every dollar students at the schools raise, with all proceeds going to prepare and send the teams to regional and national robotics competitions. Not only will the money support the teams, but it also encourages the teams and their schools to get their communities to invest in STEM education. The matching sponsorship was facilitated through the Edco Power Grants program, a fundraising platform for K-12 schools and robotics teams.


“Insurance has been influenced positively by the vast and rapid development of technology,” said Grose. “That’s why Argo supports future leaders in technology, including kids who participate on their high-school robotics teams. Hopefully, one of the bright students who was with the Dragon Racing team in New York City will work at Argo Group someday.”


The students thoroughly enjoyed the experience of touring the garage and watching the race.


“I was most excited about seeing the electric cars at the Formula E event because it has always been my dream to see race cars in real life,” said Masuma Uddin, a student at Transit Tech High School.


“The Formula E race was one of the most memorable events that I've ever attended,” said Sefat Hameen, a student at George Westinghouse High School. “Learning about the fast development of battery-engine technology reminded members of our robotics team how important it is to not give up and to work hard in our future projects.”