The Rhode Island Mortgage Bankers Association is helping Rhode Islanders get back to work through a new partnership with CCRI and the Rhode Island Department of Labor & Training.
Last fall, after Rhode Island’s economy had shed thousands of jobs, we launched a mortgage processing course to give students a foundational understanding of loan production, underwriting, secondary marketing, warehousing, and servicing functions in the mortgage industry. The course is training the next generation of mortgage operations personnel to meet local industry demand.
Through the course, those who had lost their jobs are finding hope in a new career path.
As one of the students, Lauren Hanson, told us, “It just opened up an entire new world. It did really lift me up to give me hope for a future career and for something solid and stable.”
Some students previously worked in the restaurant, hospitality, or travel industries, which have been decimated by the pandemic. One student is Erica Hanley, a former business development representative for a travel operator who was laid off after the pandemic shut down domestic and international travel. “This program has made me realize that I can do a lot more,” Hanley told us after completing the course.
Another student, Abigail Fitzgerald, had previously made a good living as a bartender at a restaurant. “I thought that that was going to be good and then the world changed,” she said. “I had no idea that I wouldn’t go into work again for a year. And then I joined this program with CCRI and RIMBA. Now I don’t know what tomorrow is going to be but I’m not nervous about it anymore.”
While the demand for workers has declined in some industries, Rhode Island is currently seeing a surge in real estate demand. Over the past year, the median price of a single-family home in the state increased by 16.4 percent as of February. As the Wall Street Journal recently reported, “Home prices are increasing at the fastest pace in 15 years, propelled by a record-low supply of homes for sale,” combined with a flood of well-off workers looking for a larger home or space for home offices. The pandemic has also seen a boom in mortgage refinancing.
The demand for mortgage loans and people to process them isn’t going away. It is our intent to connect workers who are looking for new opportunities to an industry that needs them. Students who complete the mortgage processing course at CCRI will be ready to take the Nationwide Mortgage Licensing System (NMLS) test, which would allow them to become licensed loan originators upon passage of the exam. A number of our members have made a commitment to hiring qualified graduates who have completed the program.
Together with CCRI we are doing our part to put our State back on the road to recovery.