Question: How does your company help?
Answer: We pay college [interns] $15.25 an hour, and they work here 20 to 25 hours a week during the school year. We found a 1986 tax code that allowed businesses to withhold $3.25 of that $15.25 tax free.
Q: Then what?
A: Once a semester, we [take the withheld money] to their colleges and give it to the financial aid office and they [apply it to the individual student's] debt.
Q: Who participates?
A: Of the 110 students working here now, any of them that has deferred debt must participate.
Q: Now you're an evangelist for this program.
A: We work with 14 or 15 local colleges and we are trying to engage more businesses.
Q: What's involved?
A: Nothing. There's something in payroll you have to do.
Q: What made you start?
A: I have lunch with 130 people a year, and many of them are out of school four or five years. I'll learn they have $85,000 in college debt. I say, 'How do you feel about that?' They say, 'You know what, Tom? I'm really mad at my parents. I wish they had told me what the heck I was doing.' This [debt] thing is really nuts.
Q: Why is this important?
A: It used to be that college kids became financially independent at 24. Now the age is 30. So if you want your kids with you until 40, don't address this issue.
Q: Besides college interns, you employ a lot of young people. What do you think of all the buzz about millennial workers being spoiled and entitled?
A: It's junk.
Q: Do you have a good job interview question?
A: SAT scores. Not because I care. Everybody remembers their SAT scores. Some people will tell me, 'I don't remember what I got.' That just tells me they aren't comfortable with who they are."
Q: How did you do?
A: 950 [out of 1,600].
Q: Through brokers, you sell 113 different kinds of insurance - general liability, property, nonprofit, professional, and liquor liability - to a variety of small businesses. You must know a lot about what scares business owners.
A: We want to understand: What is the nightmare?
Q: For example?
A: Liquor liability - we insure bars, restaurants, fraternities. Every state is different. It's a tough class of business. We have been in it a long time and we have paid a hefty tuition to understand it.
Q: How so?
A: In our world, you have 1,250,000 attorneys. Most of them are overly educated and underutilized, so we are a great bank account for them.
Thomas Nerney on managing millennial employees.
Title: Chairman, chief executive, president, U.S. Liability Insurance Group.
Hometown: Center City.
Family: Ryan, 30; Christine, 30; Brendan, 22; Jackson, 5.
Diplomas: Cabrini College, philosophy; St. Joseph's University, master's in business administration.
What else: Chairman, Cabrini College board of trustees.
Claim to fame: Coached nine seasons of girls' AAU basketball. 25 players received full Division 1 scholarships.
New skill: Horseback riding.
Interview questions and answers have been edited for space.