How local industry-education collaboration can address the regional skills gap

I recently had the opportunity to compose and publish an article for the Chippewa Valley Business Report West Central Wisconsin’s Business-to-Business Journal.    The article is focused on the Chippewa Valley, but contains material that I believe could be 20141111_111211considered for implementation not only in Wisconsin, but regions across our country.  I discussed four key areas within the article:

If more businesses forge partnerships with education, more parents, teachers, guidance counselors and administrators will become aware of the high-tech career opportunities available in their region and the benefits of these viable career options — and the workforce here in the Chippewa Valley and across the nation will be strengthened.

Read the entire article by clicking here.

YourFutureChippewaValley Website, a free website that was created earlier in 2014 by the YourFutureChippewaValleyHorizontal-250pxChippewa Valley Skills Gap Project Partnership, the Eau Claire Area, Chippewa Valley and Dunn County economic development along with Realityworks to help connect local businesses, organizations, school districts and high school students, went live this month. This website enables students to navigate possible career paths and work-based learning opportunities as they become familiar with area businesses and organizations. It also allows businesses to partner with educators and students as businesses make opportunities within their own companies known. The goal of these efforts is to help institutions across the Chippewa Valley, from employers and economic development groups to secondary and postsecondary educational institutions and government organizations, adapt and respond to Chippewa Valley workforce needs. provides a multitude of opportunities for Chippewa Valley businesses to connect directly with students from offering 30- to 60-minute mock interviews to becoming a career mentors to business conducting an exhibit at career fairs.  Businesses can also step up to help our educators help students earn Employability Skills Development Certificates and Cooperative Education Skills Certificates, credentials they can apply to careers or further postsecondary education. Businesses could also provide youth apprenticeships, giving students opportunities to hone vital employability and occupational skills.

To begin using the website, please REGISTER.  Once  registered, you will have the abiltiy to:


  • View all business/organization profiles
  • Tell your story and create/edit your profile
  • Add a brief video of your business/organization
  • Create and manage work-based learning opportunities for students
  • Post job opportunities for high school students

  • Review and process student opportunity applications
  • Request a guest/classroom speaker
  • Locate and schedule a business/organization tour
  • Create and manage speakers for the classroom
  • Post a student opportunity (Job Shadow, Career Mentor, etc.)

  • Select Career Clusters from the menu
  • Choose a Career Cluster
  • View Opportunities within a Cluster
  • Apply for an Opportunity
  • You will be contacted by your school-to-work counselor.

Source: Your Future Chippewa Valley website

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