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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, April 26, 2018
CONTACT: DWD Communications, 608-266-2722
On the Web: http://dwd.wisconsin.gov/news/
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On Twitter: @WIWorkforce

DWD, WAICU Officials Visit St. Norbert in Green Bay to Highlight Internship Awareness Month

Gov. Walker proclaimed April as Internship Awareness Month in Wisconsin, highlights state's WisConnect website and importance of internships

DE PERE – Today, Department of Workforce Development (DWD) Assistant Deputy Secretary BJ Dernbach joined Wisconsin Association of Independent Colleges and Universities (WAICU) President Rolf Wegenke at St. Norbert College in De Pere to highlight April as Internship Awareness Month, as proclaimed by Governor Walker. Brian Bruess, St. Norbert College President and his staff hosted the event and provided a short tour of Todd Wehr Hall, including the Office of Career and Professional Development, which administers programs, services and self-service resources designed to encourage successful transitions from academia to meaningful post-graduate work.

Internships are a proven way for students to gain confidence in their course of study, develop important workplace skills and start building a network of mentors, coworkers and others that is so important to landing that new opportunity and achieving long-term career success. WisConnect offers an easy way for employers to find the best and brightest student talent. That includes employers with robust internship programs like Sargento Foods Inc., as well as employers looking for step-by-step assistance to starting an internship program.

"Similar to WisConnect, Wisconsin's statewide online internship exchange dedicated to matching skilled college students with Wisconsin employers with internship positions to fill, college offices like the one toured today provide an invaluable resource to our college students and employers, allowing them to research available internship opportunities to build on the coursework they complete while in college," DWD Assistant Deputy Secretary Dernbach said. "The WisConnect website, which we are proud to partner with WAICU on, has nearly 1,800 available internship positions posted and hundreds of student profiles in less than one year of service. WisConnect is quickly becoming the central hub for Wisconsin-based internship opportunities and an additional resource for college career resource offices to rely upon when serving their students."

Through robust internship programs, employers gain the opportunity to attract and train students who very well could be future employees. According to the National Association of Colleges and Employers:

“As internships increasingly become a prerequisite for a post-college career, Wisconsin’s private, nonprofit colleges and universities are leveraging longstanding partnerships with employers to provide mutually beneficial internship opportunities for students," said WAICU President Rolf Wegenke. "The campus career services offices offer exceptional resources for both students seeking opportunities and employers looking for the best and brightest.”

WisConnect not only includes advanced functionality to serve students such as the ability to build an advanced profile and be matched to available internship opportunities based on skills, coursework and competencies, it also provides 21st century functionality to Wisconsin employers, allowing them to market their company and available internship opportunities for free, through WisConnect. Additionally, DWD added additional functionality to allow college career counselors to access the site and use it as a tool to expand the pool of internships available to the students they serve.

"Student internships offer mutually beneficial outcomes for both students and college's long-term community partners, said Brian Bruess, St. Norbert College President. "They enable students to gain experience in a work environment, develop critical thinking, expand their talents and skills, see connections between work and curriculum, and experience workplace cultures - all while preparing them for post-educational opportunities. Businesses and other organizations who provide internships reap the benefits of the talents and fresh ideas these students bring. And, colleges' career development areas are the resources to help align businesses' needs with the unique skills of student interns."

For more information on WisConnect, visit https://internshipwisconsin.com

For more information on the Wisconsin Association of Independent Colleges and Universities, visit http://www.waicu.org/

For more information on St. Norbert College, visit https://www.snc.edu/