WAUSAU — Students at a variety of colleges and universities in central Wisconsin are invited to apply for The Branch’s spring session. The Branch is a workforce development initiative introduced by the Wausau Region Chamber of Commerce, Northcentral Technical College and Church Mutual Insurance Company in 2016. The program is a skills accelerator which builds business and retains talent in central Wisconsin.

Students attending Lakeland College, Mid-State Technical College, Nicolet Area Technical College, Northcentral Technical College, Rasmussen College, UW-Marathon County, UW-Stevens Point and Upper Iowa University are invited to apply for The Branch.

Ansay & Associates LLC and North Central Health Care will present corporate innovation challenges to the students involved in The Branch’s spring 2018 session. Church Mutual Insurance Company, Northcentral Technical College, River Valley Bank and AROW Global have also provided challenges to student teams in five previous sessions. M3 Insurance will present a challenge in the fall 2018 session.

“The Branch asks students from around the region to solve complex problems and to be entrepreneurial while connecting to the companies that need this local talent.” said Dave Eckmann, President/CEO of the Wausau Region Chamber of Commerce. “We live in a very talent-competitive economy and will for the next 25 years, making this program very important.”

The program’s spring session, which will meet weekly on Tuesday nights beginning on March 6, is accepting student applications through Friday, February 16. Student applications for the fall 2018 session are also accepted. Those interested in serving as mentors for the program can also apply on The Branch’s website.

“We look forward to continued partnership within higher education to ensure the success of The Branch and engaging students in central and northern Wisconsin to keep our skilled workforce local.” said Chris Severson, dean of the school of engineering and technology at Northcentral Technical College.

To view student and mentor testimonials and to watch videos from the program’s several Demo Day events, visit The Branch’s YouTube channel.

Ansay & Associates LLC, AROW Global, Church Mutual Insurance Company, M3 Insurance, North Central Health Care and River Valley Bank are sponsors of the program and Westphal Staffing Inc is a supporter.

For more information or to register as a student or mentor, visit The Branch’s website. Businesses that are interested in becoming involved with the program can also register projects through the site or contact Renae Krings, talent development director at the Chamber, at rkrings@wausauchamber.com or 715-848-5942.

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