Inspire Sheboygan County, a collaboration of educators and employers whose mission is to connect students to career experiences, and Lakeland University are joining to better prepare students for their future careers while helping area employers find the workers they need.
As part of the partnership, Inspire will have office space at Lakeland’s main campus in Plymouth as well as in Lakeland’s space at Jake’s Café in downtown Sheboygan.
Inspire and Lakeland both offer cooperative education programs. Inspire connects local high school students to employers in a variety of ways, including through its youth co-op work experience. Lakeland launched a cooperative education program for its students to gain on-the-job experience last fall by partnering with more than a dozen Sheboygan County employers.
“Since we both use cooperative education as a primary tool to help students grow and achieve their goals, this partnership makes sense because it will allow us to work together and better serve this region,” said Lakeland President David Black.
Nikki Kiss, executive director for Inspire Sheboygan County, said the two organizations will help students use experiential education to select the best pathway for them, whether it’s employment right after high school, a two-year degree or a four-year degree.
The new partnership will look to potentially transition students from their youth co-ops into Lakeland’s program, Kiss said. The two organizations also will collaborate on employer and mentor training and support, and high school co-op students will be invited to attend some meetings and activities of Lakeland’s Co-op Student Association.