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U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin made stops at the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh and the Oshkosh Premier Waterfront Hotel Jan. 15 in an effort to learn about ongoing workforce and economic development initiatives on campus and in the community.

The newly elected senator first met with University leaders and students at the Student Success Center on campus where she learned about UW Oshkosh’s commitment to preparing career-ready students.

“You have these discussions about the skills gap in Wisconsin. It seems to me it’s easier to prevent a skills gap than to fix one,” Baldwin said. “And it seems UW Oshkosh is doing that.”

UW Oshkosh’s Career Services representatives and students shared stories of successful internships and on-campus employment opportunities with Baldwin.

“It’s great to have her here; I love showcasing students,” said Jaime Page-Stadler, director of Career Services at UW Oshkosh.

UW Oshkosh Career Services works with regional employers to make sure students have the skills needed upon entering the workforce. Many UW Oshkosh graduates go on to work locally in manufacturing, sales and health care. About 85 percent of UW Oshkosh graduates are employed within nine months of graduation, which Page-Stadler said speaks to the quality skills UW Oshkosh students enter the workforce with.

“Students like to stay local and most are recruited locally,” Page-Stadler said. “That’s great for our workforce.”

A handful of UW Oshkosh students spent some time with Baldwin while she was on campus, sharing internship and work experiences, including their on-campus employment opportunities through the Student Titan Employment Program (STEP), which provides quality, high-impact educational experiences outside of the classroom, often alongside University staff and faculty members.

“I love that I am able to work with my professors in a professional setting,” said Sarah Roth, who is studying secondary education. “I’m really excited about my career.”

Not only has Roth worked as a STEP intern in the math department at UW Oshkosh, but she was also placed at Oshkosh West High School to co-teach a class, she said.

Following a brief tour of the Student Success Center—a true hub on campus for student services including advising, tutoring, career guidance and writing assistance—Baldwin and University leaders traveled the short distance to downtown Oshkosh to tour the Oshkosh Premier Waterfront Hotel. The hotel is being renovated in a partnership between the UW Oshkosh Foundation and local hoteliers.

Slated to open later this spring, Oshkosh’s downtown hotel will re-open its doors as a state-of-the-art business hotel aimed at anchoring the city’s downtown and serving as an economic catalyst for the entire community. The project has already brought more than 200 construction jobs to the area and will infuse the city with dozens more hospitality jobs upon its spring opening.

“Collaborations are the only way things will get done; they help entities and organizations achieve greater goals,” said UW Oshkosh Foundation President Arthur Rathjen.

“We appreciate the new senator’s interest in all the projects the University Foundation and the University are engaged in,” Rathjen added.

Baldwin said her last visit to UW Oshkosh was about a year ago during her campaign.

“There’s been a lot of progress on things I was introduced to about a year ago,” she said.

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