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UW-Eau Claire program to inform employers
about internship benefits

RELEASED: Feb. 3, 2006

Elizabeth Meyer
Elizabeth Meyer's one-year internship with Hope Gospel Mission turned into a full-time position as stewarship associate for the Eau Claire nonprofit agency. (UW-Eau Claire photo by Rick Mickelson)

EAU CLAIRE — Business leaders in the Chippewa Valley will learn about the benefits of having an intern or apprentice in their company during the Internship and Apprenticeship Informational Breakfast set for 7-8:30 a.m. Feb. 14 at the Holiday Inn Campus in Eau Claire.

The program is a partnership between the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, Eau Claire Area Chamber of Commerce, Chippewa Valley Technical College, Eau Claire Area School District, Manpower and the Ruder Ware law firm. There is no cost to Chamber members.

The purpose of the program is to encourage businesses to hire interns and apprentices, said Jeanne Skoug, Career Services director at UW-Eau Claire.

"We are all partnering to work with businesses to assist them with their workforce needs and to help keep our graduates in the Chippewa Valley," Skoug said.

Interns can be a valuable asset to businesses, said Bob McCoy, Chamber president and CEO. "The Chamber encourages businesses to use interns," he said. "These are outstanding students who, in many cases, can become permanent employees."

The program will include success stories from students and employers, as well as an opportunity to help businesses begin brainstorming about potential intern or apprentice projects in their company.

"Hopefully when employers hear about the successes and start to think about specific projects, they will see that it's not a complicated process to get started with an intern or apprentice," said Skoug, whose job includes creating awareness among students of what the Chippewa Valley has to offer in terms of internships and employment.

"Part of the goal is to assist with the problem of 'brain drain,' both locally and on the state level," Skoug said. "Our surveys show that students are steadily becoming aware that the Eau Claire area has a lot to offer in terms of internships and employment."

Over the past 10 years, the number of UW-Eau Claire students who remain in the Chippewa Valley after graduation has almost doubled, Skoug said, increasing from 13 percent to 23 percent.

"In just the last four years we've increased by 28 percent the number of employers in the Chippewa Valley who post internships and increased by 78 percent the number who post local jobs," said Skoug, adding that 80 percent of all new jobs nationwide are from employers with less than 200 employees or start-up companies.

For more information on internship opportunities, contact Skoug at (715) 836-5358. To register for the Feb. 14 breakfast, contact the Chamber at (715) 834-1204.

-30-

JW/JB

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