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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

Thursday, December 1, 2016
CONTACT: DWD Communications, 608-266-2722
On the Web: http://dwd.wisconsin.gov/news/
On Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/WIWorkforce
On Twitter: @WIWorkforce

DWD, UW System Official Gather Valuable Stakeholder Input at 7th Internship Strategies Workshop

Talent development, education and local business leaders share best practices for employer internship programs

STEVENS POINT – Today, Department of Workforce Development (DWD) Assistant Deputy Secretary Dave Anderson joined University of Wisconsin System (UW System) President Ray Cross and Wisconsin Association of Independent Colleges and Universities (WAICU) President Rolf Wegenke at UW-Stevens Point for the 7th and last scheduled Internship Strategies Workshop. The event brought together the state's key state and regional leaders from talent development and education as well as local Stevens Point area business leaders to share information and best practices for employer driven internship programs as the state moves forward with implementing Governor Walker's statewide Internship Coordination program.

"As Wisconsin's economy continues to grow, we need to ensure that Wisconsin employers have the talent they need to continue their current level or expand their operations right here in Wisconsin," Assistant Deputy Secretary Anderson said. "One key strategy to retain Wisconsin talent is the state's new Internship Coordination program. We know that students who intern with a Wisconsin company while in college are more likely to stay in Wisconsin after graduation, and employers who operate internship programs have said they're a proven solution that allows them to fill open positions from within."

In March 2016, Governor Walker signed Assembly Bill 742 into law, establishing two full-time positions dedicated to coordinating internship programs statewide. Over the coming months, DWD will design and develop an internship website which will allow employers to post available internships and allow students to search internships in their chosen field. DWD will also create an online resource library for businesses of any size to seek out information on starting their own internship program.

“Wisconsin businesses are looking to higher education for the workforce they need today and the future,” said UW System President Ray Cross. “They recognize that talent development is critical to revitalizing Wisconsin’s economy and maintaining an edge. We have initiatives outlined in our strategic framework to engage businesses, build career connections, and help create job opportunities after graduation. We are pleased to have DWD as a partner in our Career Connect website initiative, which connects employers with student talent. This helps meet state workforce needs, while providing students valuable career experience and increasing the odds they will stay in Wisconsin.”

The Internship Coordination program, administered as part of the Wisconsin Fast Forward program, coordinates efforts between DWD, the UW System and WAICU with the ultimate goal of increasing the number of available internship opportunities statewide.

For more information, please visit the Wisconsin Fast Forward website.