EAU CLAIRE — To make it easier for businesses to launch their own internship programs, the University of Wisconsin System and the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. have introduced the Talent Generator, a new online tool offering smart tips and best practices for creating and sustaining a successful student talent development program.

The easy-to-use, no-cost tool, unveiled this week, is designed to help small and medium-sized companies develop and sustain successful internship programs.

Officials announced the new online reference at Market & Johnson, an Eau Claire–based construction company that manages its own internship program and helped develop the new instructional modules.

UW System President Ray Cross said internships are one way to help Wisconsin build its workforce by retaining more graduates from state colleges and universities. Like many other states, Wisconsin faces a growing shortage of workers in the next decade.

“Today, more than 80 percent of UW System graduates live in Wisconsin five years after graduation, and we see this new resource as one more tool to help that number grow,” Cross said in a news release. “Our goal with the Talent Generator is to increase the odds every student in the state’s largest talent pipeline—the UW System—has an opportunity to secure an internship. We know every time a student secures an internship with a Wisconsin employer, the likelihood of them staying here increases.”