WAUSAU — A workforce development initiative, The Branch, is offering $500 scholarships to students who are accepted into and complete the program during the spring 2019 session.

Students attending Lakeland College, Mid-State Technical College, Nicolet Area Technical College, Northcentral Technical College, Rasmussen College, University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point at Wausau, UW-Stevens Point and Upper Iowa University are invited to apply.

Church Mutual Insurance Co. and M3 Insurance will present corporate innovation challenges to the students involved in the program’s spring 2019 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 spring session, which will begin Feb. 23 and meet weekly on Tuesdays beginning Feb. 26, is accepting student applications through Feb. 15. Applications for the fall 2019 session are also accepted. Those interested in serving as mentors for the program can 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.