Tools to Help You Attract the Workforce You Need

A study by the 7 Rivers Alliance identified that our workforce wil remain a challenge thorugh at least 2025. We are not alone in the country. 

Use these tools to help attract and build your workforce.

Think Ahead

Students begin identifying a career interest area in school as early as 6th grade. While your need may be immediate, developing interest in careers in your industry is a solid way to build a pipeline of individuals developing skills you need. Identify opportunities to engage in these conversations.

Translate Current Skills to Your Jobs

Expand your search for qualified job candidates by discovering other occupations that utilize the same skills you need in open positions

Available Talent

Workforce typically comes from several areas such as high school, higher education, job seekers, and veterans. 



STRATEGY: High School Students

You may be looking to hire a student now to fill immediate needs, give them hands on experience to a future career through apprenticeships, or mentor them to pursue a career in your field. Building your talent pipeline early is a strong strategy.

INSPIRE 7 Rivers

Connects students and with real workers for career exploration conversations online.

Future Centers

La Crosse Promise serves all La Crosse high school students with career and college resources.

Youth Apprenticeships

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 Apprenticeships

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.

STRATEGY: Higher Education

College students who complete an internship are more likely to stay with your company or in the area they went to school. Internships allow college students to receive real-world experience while allowing employers to see an individuals skills short-term. Interns can:

  • build your brand by talking about your company to other students,
  • they’re a low-cost strategy to gradually grow your budget for permanent staffing,
  • complete project for which your organization doesn’t have time,
  • bring a modern body of knowledge and viewpoint for innovation, and
  • energize your workforce by creating a culture of teaching that aligns with your values.

Paid or Not Paid?

Federal laws determine if you must pay an intern as an employee. Resource >>


Resource: Build a Strong Internship Program

The companies that put thought behind their internships have the best success. These internship resource can help ensure you have a positive experience.

Connect with Colleges & Higher Education

La Crosse

University of Wisconsin - La Crosse

University of Wisconsin - La Crosse

Career Services

  • Internships & Job Postings (through Handshake)
  • Job Fairs +
  • On-Campus Interviews
  • Student Organizations
  • Project or Research Help
Viterbo University

Viterbo University

Career Services

  • Internships & Job Posting (through Handshake)
  • Job Fairs 
  • Student Organizations
Western Technical College

Western Technical College

Career Services

  • Internships & Job Postings (through Tech Connect)
  • Career Fairs & Events
  • Labor Market Information

Near La Crosse

Winona State University

  • Internships (through Handshake)
  • Job Postings
  • Volunteers
  • Job Fairs + 
  • On-Campus Interviews
  • Partnership Programs
St Mary's University

St Mary's University

Career Services

  • Internships
  • Job Postings
  • Job Fairs
  • On-Campus Interviews
  • Presentation Opportunities
  • Student Organizations
  • Research Opportunities

Northeast Iowa Community College

  • Internships (through Career Hub)
  • Job Postings
  • Job Fairs + 
Luther College

Luther College

Career Services

  • Internships (through Career Connection)
  • Job Postings
  • Job Fairs
  • On-Campus Interviews

STRATEGY: Job Seekers

Wisconsin Job Centers are state-funded opportunities to recruit job seekers.  They offer:


  •  Workforce Events: connect with multiple job candidates in one day
  • Labor Pools: untapped segments of available and talented workers
  • Background checks guidance & resources
  • Testing & assessment
  • After the Hire resources
  • Help writing job descriptions
  • National Career Readiness Certification
  • Consulting on hiring practices


Incldues program specialists to help you with:

  • Veterans
  • Older workers
  • Workers with Disabilities (Vocational Rehabilitation aka DVR)
  • Transportation
  • Indian and Native Americans
  • Apprenticeships
  • Dislocated Workers (Permanent Layoff)

STRATEGY: Veterans


Wisconsin offers very competitive benefits for former military. Using this to recruit talent is a strong tool. There are also benefits for the employer when hiring veterans. 

Veterans Benefits

Savings including income tax savings, property tax credits, assistance grants, business startup funding, education assistance (G.I. Bill), the waiving of fees for outdoor sports, and free burial in veteran cemeteries.

Employer Benefits

A dedicated Local Veterans Employment Representative (LVER) can help partner a business with a veteran. 

Incentives include:

  • grants
  • toolkits for hiring
  • grants to help you curb your skills gap
  • employment responsibilites for reserve and active duty employees

STRATEGY: Special Populations

The Job Center works with jobseekers with specific barriers to employment such as:

  • disability,
  • ex-offender,
  • non-traditional occupations, and
  • older workers.

STRATEGY: Foreign Workforce

The United States Department of Labor issues labor certificates for permanent and temporary employment.

H-1B visas are sometimes applied for if you are unable to find US citizens to fill occupations requiring a specialized knowledge such as sciences, medicine, health care, education, biotechnology, and business specialties. A certain number of visas are issued annually based on the level of education.

There are other limited, temporary visas offered for people coming from Chile, Singapore, and Australia.