WAUSAU — Students at a variety of colleges and universities in central Wisconsin are invited to apply for The Branch’s fall 2018 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 that 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.

Church Mutual, M3 Insurance and the Wausau Region Chamber of Commerce will present corporate innovation challenges to students involved in the program’s 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, in a chamber news release. “We live in a very talent-competitive economy and will for the next 25 years, making this program very important.”

The program’s fall session, which will meet weekly on Tuesday nights beginning on Oct. 2, is accepting student applications through Sept. 24. Student applications for the spring 2019 session are also accepted. Those interested in serving as mentors for the program can also apply on The Branch’s website.

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.