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WCMA Launches Internship Exchange to Enhance Industry Workforce Pipeline

The Wisconsin Cheese Makers Association (WCMA) today launched the WCMA Internship Exchange, a program designed to enhance the industry’s workforce pipeline.

“With a national labor shortage looming, it’s important that employers do all that they can to attract talented workers,” said WCMA Executive Director John Umhoefer.  “An internship program is a highly-effective tool for companies trying to connect with future employees.”

The WCMA Internship Exchange will pair interested students with dairy products manufacturers and processors and their supplier partners in the following fields: Production, Machine Operation, Maintenance, Packaging, Quality Assurance/Food Safety, Marketing, Accounting, and Human Resources.  WCMA is partnering with the University of Wisconsin System, the Wisconsin Technical College System, and the State of Wisconsin’s new WisConnect program to build a prospective intern pool.

WCMA is now inviting members to indicate their interest in taking on interns.  While detailed plans are available to help a company establish their own internship guidelines, employers should expect to commit to an intern for a full semester (fall, spring, or summer), offer structured and supervised opportunities for learning, and be prepared to complete evaluations on the intern’s efforts for educational credits.  Many internships are also paid positions, due to U.S. Department of Labor guidelines.

“From test-driving talent to enhancing the perspective of your team, interns are worthwhile investments,” said Umhoefer.  “And, given historically-low unemployment rates, our industry can’t afford not to make concerted efforts to find employees.”

Umhoefer noted a study from the National Association of Colleges and Employers found that approximately 67% of internships end with a full-time job offer, and that 76% of those offers are accepted.

To participate in the WCMA Internship Exchange, contact WCMA Communications and Policy Manager Rebekah Sweeney at 608-828-4550 or via email at rsweeney@wischeesemakers.org.  If you or someone you know is interested in an industry internship, visit www.WisCheeseMakers.org to apply.