Skills Development

Wisconsin employers turn to the Office of Skills Development (OSD) for effective talent development solutions to recruit, train and retain highly skilled workers. Let us connect you with industry and workforce development system experts across the state to help your business:

  • Identify and implement workforce training needs.
  • Make local talent development connections.

Find Skilled Labor Solutions

OSD works quickly to review and resolve the skilled labor needs of Wisconsin employers, including facilitating introductions to and discussions with regional business and economic development organizations and industry-recognized training providers. Assistance is provided in coordination with these workforce development system partners:

  • Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development – Office of Economic Advisors
  • Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation
  • Wisconsin Technical College System
  • Wisconsin Workforce Development Association

Help Shape Future Grant Opportunities

OSD uses your business insight and current labor market data to develop worker training grant opportunities. Share the following business and industry knowledge with us to help shape future Grant Program Announcements (GPAs):

  • Innovative strategies for building human capital, skills and talent
  • Collaborations focused on improving talent development outcomes
  • Unmet talent development needs due limited training opportunities
  • Challenges with attracting and retaining qualified workers

Build Your Talent Pipeline

Explore these innovative programs to build a robust talent pipeline with your business, sector or community:

  • Youth Apprenticeship: DWD's Youth Apprenticeship (YA) program integrates school-based and work-based learning, providing students with instruction in employability and occupational skills as defined by Wisconsin industries. Employ YA students to help develop your local workforce and create a recruitment pipeline that is loyal to your business and community.
  • Registered Apprenticeship: Registered Apprenticeship (RA) enables employers to build a customized, on-the-job skills training system to developing highly skilled workers by immersing them in company culture while earning good-paying, family-supporting wages as they learn a high demand trade. Explore how this proven workforce readiness solutions can help your business address the skills gap.
  • Career and Technical Education: All Wisconsin school districts must provide Career and Technical Education (CTE) to students in grades 6 – 12. School districts are actively identifying opportunities to partner with local businesses to help demonstrate and expose students to different occupations.

Recruit Qualified Talent

Access talent recruitment tools to broaden your reach for qualified workers:

  • Operated by DWD, (JCW) is Wisconsin's online public labor exchange that connects employers and job seekers at no cost 24 hours a day. Logon to access advanced skills matching features and integrated labor market information to make informed employment decisions now.
  • Skill Explorer: Let DWD's Skill Explorer tools help you expand your search for qualified job candidates by discovering other occupations that utilized the same skills you need in open positions.
  • Local Job Centers: Conveniently located across the state, Wisconsin's Job Centers offer a variety of job seeker and employer services. Many employers find talent to fill current job openings by connecting with thousands of job seekers who visit Job Centers daily. Job Centers also assist employers with: using advanced employment tools on, accessing local Labor Market Information, and connecting to education and training resources.


The Wisconsin Fast Forward (WFF) Internship program coordinates efforts between the Department of Workforce Development (DWD), the University of Wisconsin System (UWS), the Wisconsin Association of Independent Colleges and Universities (WAICU) and the Wisconsin Technical College System to increase the number of internship opportunities available to Wisconsin college students.

College students who intern for a Wisconsin company are more likely to stay in the state after graduation, making internships a valuable workforce retention strategy. Additional benefits include:

  • Providing employers with an opportunity to observe students before extending a permanent job offer.
  • Enabling students to demonstrate their skills in a work environment.

Help Shape the Internship Program

DWD and higher education partners are meeting with business owners and leaders, workforce professionals and educators across the state to obtain feedback on what businesses and educators need to create successful internship opportunities for Wisconsin college students. Input will be used to explore the:

  • Development a robust, user-friendly internship website, enabling employers post and students to search available opportunities.
  • Creation of a resource library for businesses of any size or scope that are interested in providing internships.

Learn more about program activities here:

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