STEVENS POINT — The University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point and partner Sentry Insurance were selected as finalists in the University Economic Development Association 2018 Awards of Excellence, UWSP announced recently.

The UEDA Awards are designed to validate and promote programs that focus on developing economic prosperity in their communities and beyond, and to encourage their adoption by other institutions and communities, according to a UWSP news release. Program categories include innovation, talent and place and the intersections of these categories.

UW-Stevens Point and Sentry were named finalists in the talent category for their information technology cooperative initiative. Since launching in 2016, the Sentry IT Co-op has hired more than 30 department of computing and new media technologies students, offering competitive pay, flexible hours and a longer duration than traditional internships, according to the release.

“It is really exciting that Sentry Co-op is considered among the best examples of talent development programs as voted by our peers across the country,” said Jenny Resch, interim director of the UW-Stevens Point Office of Economic and Community Development in the release.

Photo courtesy UWSP. Steven Fox of Sentry Insurance works with Matt Kleine, one of the first UW-Stevens Point students to intern at the Sentry IT Co-op in downtown Stevens Point.