West Central Wisconsin Collaborative Regional Internship/Apprenticeship Initiative
Momentum West, the regional economic development organization serving west central Wisconsin and an association managed by Dowell Management, is in the early stages of developing a collaborative effort between the regions four UW System colleges, two tech colleges and the workforce development board in their part of the state. The goal is to increase the number of UW System and Tech college internships and apprenticeships within the Momentum West region, hoping ultimately to increase the number of hires from these institutions within the region.
Momentum West is targeting small to medium size business and industry in the ten county area that have not participated in an existing internship and apprenticeship program, as well as business and industry that have had interns and apprentices in a specific degree area that could benefit from an intern from another appropriate degree program.
According the Momentum West executive director Steve Jahn, “we’re still in the development stage of this idea, but based on the feedback from our potential partners the interest is there to drive this forward.”
Momentum West hopes to leverage current higher education personnel to identify prospects while establishing outreach teams to meet with targets. These meetings will use a template to identify the need for an intern, the capacity to train and pay the intern, and the probability the intern, if successful, could be hired as a full time employee.
“The higher education institutions all have excellent programs already, but it is our hope that we can increase the capacity to reach more business and industry in the area, hence providing more connections with the students in the region”, stated Jahn
The proposed partners in this program include UW Eau Claire, UW River Falls, UW Stout, UW Barron County, Chippewa Valley Technical College, Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College and the Workforce Development Board and Momentum West.