In 1999, WFIC designed the College-to-Work Program to address critical
labor shortages by linking talented student interns directly with
supporting companies. Our colleges educate Wisconsin’s future
workforce, providing majors in areas such as MIS, Prince2 training, human resources,
computer and technical fields, sales and marketing, journalism,
communications, accounting, engineering, and graphic design.
Over the past several years, educators, employers, partywall surveyors, legislators,
and community leaders in Wisconsin have begun considering how to
address brain drain in our state. WFIC stakeholders believe that
part of the solution is to better align the resources of Wisconsin’s
twenty private colleges with the needs of Wisconsin industry. The
WFIC College-to-Work Initiative allows companies to form relationships
early with talented, locally educated students who will become the
workforce of tomorrow.
Twenty-two organizations are planning on launching successful College-to-Work
programs through WFIC in Summer 2004. In fact, having funded the
first College-to-Work pilot in 1999, Cobalt Corporation hired their
first graduated intern in a permanent, full-time position within
College-to-Work takes a step further than other scholarship programs,
offering students educational internship opportunities in addition
to scholarship dollars. Program components include:
Scholarship Funds: Currently, our College-to-Work
scholarships award students between $1,500 and $3,500 toward their
Educational Internships: Internships can be either
part time during the academic year or full time during the summer.
Most last 10 weeks & allow students to apply their classroom
learning on the job. Some interns are paid hourly, while others
receive a stipend to cover transportation & housing costs.
Company Mentors: Each student is assigned a mentor
who introduces them to the company and ensures that their educational
goals are met.
Strategic Programming: WFIC tailors each College-to-Work
program’s guidelines to the sponsoring company’s mission,
objectives, and budget by targeting student populations or fields
of study where the company has been traditionally short of needed
talent. WFIC can also focus the program on a particular college,
group of colleges, or geographical area to which the sponsoring
company has a commitment.
WFIC employs a professional College-to-Work coordinator to administer
program logistics, including:
Program Development: In coordination with the sponsoring
company, WFIC develops a program budget, timeline, and application
guidelines. In addition, WFIC creates a complete public relations/communications
plan for each College-to-Work program.
Introductions: WFIC coordinates a videoconference
meeting between company and college representatives before the program
launches to clarify program goals and selection criteria. WFIC also
coordinates introductions between company mentors, student interns,
and college representatives.
Recruitment, Selection, and Retention: In cooperation
with the sponsoring company and financial aid officers, deans, and
faculty members at the colleges, WFIC recruits and selects applicants.
The College-to-Work coordinator also remains in contact with students
during their internship experience.
Assessment: Company and student surveys following
the internship experience help WFIC evaluate program impact and
improve program services.
Check with your Campus Career
Services Office for more information or call WFIC at