Great Lakes Career Readiness Initiative Funds Paid Internships at UW-River Falls

August 27, 2014—For the second straight year, the University of Wisconsin-River Falls has received a Career Ready Internship Initiative grant from the Great Lakes Higher Education Guaranty Corporation. UW-River Falls uses the grant dollars to create new paid internships and turn previously unpaid internships into paid internships for juniors and seniors who don't receive enough financial aid to cover college costs. 

Last year UW-River Falls was one of 19 Wisconsin colleges and universities to participate in the Career Ready Internship pilot program. This year the number of participating colleges and universities has increased to 40, to include institutions in Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa, and Ohio, and the total funds awarded by the Great Lakes Higher Education Guaranty Corporation increased from $2.5 million to $4.2 million. The grant dollars awarded to UW-River Falls also increased from $28,200 to $51,717.  

The new grant dollars will allow UW-River Falls to continue expanding the internship opportunities for UWRF students with a wide variety of organizations including community-based, nonprofits, and micro-enterprises, according to David Bonko, assistant professor of marketing communications at UWRF. These smaller organizations many times do not have the resources needed to hire an intern, he said. 

"Our Career Ready Internship grants provide college students real-world experience in their fields of study, and a better chance at competing for jobs after graduation," said Richard D. George, Great Lakes president and chief executive officer. "This program has the added benefit of developing relationships of lasting value between colleges and employers. We look forward to seeing the impact the University of Wisconsin-River Falls can have on helping more students graduate ready for success in the workforce." 

For more information, contact Bonko at 715-425-3899 or email