The next-level goal of the grant will be to replicate UW-Stout’s program across the UW System. A scalable, statewide IT and cybersecurity internship program will “provide the state with a head start in the development of critical infrastructure,” Yuan said.
UW-Stout has been a cybersecurity higher education leader in Wisconsin since 2017, when it became the first four-year institution in the state to be designated a cybersecurity center. The designation coincided with being named a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense by the National Security Agency and Department of Homeland Security.
In 2022, the university’s Bachelor of Science program in cybersecurity was approved by the UW System Board of Regents. UW-Stout also offers a minor, two certificates and two concentrations related to cybersecurity.
Fast Forward grants
Gov. Evers believes the grants will serve state workforce needs.
“Our UW System is a major economic driver in our state and a critical resource for building our state’s next-generation workforce. These grants will help students earn while they learn, ensuring greater access and opportunities for our home-grown talent to start growing their careers right here in Wisconsin,” Evers said.
"DWD is proud to support innovative internship opportunities for Wisconsin students through our strong partnership with the UW System. Students who intern for a Wisconsin company are more likely to stay in the state after graduation, making internships a valuable workforce retention strategy," said Amy Pechacek, DWD secretary. "We continue to identify new ways to build Wisconsin's next generation workforce, providing job-seekers with skills in high-demand fields and employers with high-skill job-seekers."
The Wisconsin Fast Forward program expands employment opportunities and delivers return on investment for employers. Through myriad endeavors, the program supports Wisconsin's economy and workforce.
“As Wisconsin’s talent generator, we educate students to think critically while they also learn valuable skills needed in the workforce,” said UW System President Jay Rothman. “These internships will help students kick-start their careers while meeting employer demand for talent.”