WEDC And MACCI Launch Statewide Initiative to Address Workforce Development Needs

“Inspire” Connects Students and Local Employers

By Molly Schecklman – With a drastically changing economy and the workforce slowly diminishing, it is more important than ever to reach K-12 schools and post-secondary education environments to reconnect what employers are searching for and what is being taught in the schools.

All nine of Wisconsin’s regional and economic development organizations have teamed up to develop a program called Inspire that allows students and local employers to connect on a statewide level. In the Centergy region (the Marshfield area in Wood County), Inspire is supported by the Marshfield Area Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MACCI) with help from the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) and the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction (DP).

Using a very common Career Cruising platform, students are able to explore their futures by viewing and researching different career options and interests. Inspire allows community volunteers from all career backgrounds to act as mentors and provide the students with valuable educational and career information. Teachers and parents will also have access to the online platform.

“This initiative is a great example of how partners in the public and private sector are teaming up with local schools to help address the workforce development challenges of today and tomorrow,” said Governor Scott Walker. “Efforts like this will enable businesses to engage directly with students, counselors and parents, and will provide real-life experiences to help guide students as they consider their career options.”

Aside from just simply providing educational and career information, Inspire allows employers to offer unique experiences like job shadowing, interviewing opportunities, and internships. Inspire strives to meet the current and future needs of the business community in Wisconsin’s continuously growing economy by bringing business and education together.

Inspire is expected to launch by October 1, 2017.