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Scott Walker, Governor
Raymond Allen, Secretary

Department of Workforce Development
Secretary's Office

201 E. Washington Avenue
P.O. Box 7946
Madison, WI 53707-7946
Telephone: (608) 266-3131
Fax: (608) 266-1784
Email: sec@dwd.wisconsin.gov

Friday, October 21, 2016
CONTACT: DWD Communications, 608-266-2722
On the Web: http://dwd.wisconsin.gov/news/
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On Twitter: @WIWorkforce

Lt. Governor Joins DWD Assistant Deputy Secretary at UW-Platteville to Discuss Developing Talent through Internships

Workforce Alignment Workshop brings together employers, educators, other partners

PLATTEVILLE – Today, Lt. Governor Rebecca Kleefisch joined Department of Workforce Development (DWD) Assistant Deputy Secretary Dave Anderson and officials from the University of Wisconsin System (UW System), UW-Platteville, the Wisconsin Association of Independent Colleges and Universities (WAICU) and area employers for a workshop to highlight the state's efforts to coordinate talent development and education initiatives through internships to better meet employers' need for skilled talent.

"With a 4.1 percent state unemployment rate and the lowest number of unemployed Wisconsinites in 15 years, we need to do everything we can to retain the workers we educate and train in our top-quality higher education institutions in Wisconsin," Lt. Kleefisch said. "Internships are a proven way to move our state's best and brightest students into the workforce and help employers fill the 96,000 job openings that are on JobCenterofwisconsin.com"

The workshop is part of an ongoing series of forums to bring together individuals from talent development, education and private sector businesses with existing internship programs or businesses looking to start internship programs. Participants exchanged ideas to help develop and implement Wisconsin's internship strategies statewide.

"Wisconsin employers need a strong pipeline of skilled talent in order to grow and expand in our state, and internships provide a valuable talent development tool," Assistant Deputy Secretary Anderson said. "Students gain experience and build an important professional network, and employers observe a potential job candidate as they perform duties that are customized to the business' needs."

Among the more than three dozen attendees at today's workshop was state Senator Howard Marklein of Spring Green, a key sponsor of legislation that Governor Scott Walker signed earlier this year to dedicate resources toward coordinating and increasing internship opportunities statewide.

“Act 283 encourages students to experience the workplace first-hand,” Marklein said. “I held an internship at the beginning of my career and it gave me the experience and connections I needed for a great start.”

The goal of the workshop series is to provide employers with an open forum to help guide Wisconsin's talent development and education priorities, while learning about the existing opportunities the state has to help employers build their own customizable pipeline of skilled talent.

For more information on the Internship Coordination Program, please contact timonthy.strait@dwd.wisconsin.gov