By the year 2025, individuals over the age of 65 will makeup 30.1 percent of Bayfield County’s total population. An aging workforce presents a challenge to businesses across the country and Norvado is no exception. Norvado has taken matters into their own hands to address this challenge while making a positive impact on the lives of local youth. On December 12, 2018, Norvado led a coalition of local guidance counselors, community and industry leaders, mentors and vocational educators to address ways to mentor youth and raise awareness for sustainable career opportunities within the local community.
Chad Young, CEO of Norvado, addressed the importance of raising awareness of the resources available, including the WITC Broadband Academy, Inspire Northward and the Youth Apprenticeship program and the success he believes mentorship programs will bring to both students and businesses.
“I can tell you that when anyone in my position across the state sees they have been in the mentoring program and working on telecommunications that is going to immediately raise their interest in that individual and so, it can only stand effective.” – Chad Young, CEO, Norvado.
In attendance was a representation of ten schools within Bayfield County, as well as representatives from the WITC Broadband Academy, the Northwest Wisconsin Workforce Investment Board, Northwest Wisconsin CEP, Push Incorporated and Norvado.
A panel of Norvado employees and mentors discussed their career and education paths, the opportunity and personal success they have found with Norvado, pay scales and current job duties. Norvado is investing in the future by offering internships, mentorships and apprenticeships across all disciplines and departments within the organization.
“We aren’t the only organization looking to promote career opportunities, but we’re taking action to connect the dots and open doors for area youth. The Norvado Mentorship program is unique in that we’re creating clear and direct pathways to real careers. That translates immensely for Norvado, area youth and the the telecommunications industry as a whole.” – Chad Young, CEO, Norvado.
Melissa Rabska of the Northwest Wisconsin Workforce Investment Board discussed Inspire Northward and how this program can play an important role in engaging youth with sustainable and local job opportunities through mentorship programs. Inspire Northward provides a direct interface between students and local businesses in the form of mentorships and message boards. This program provides the framework for businesses like Norvado to take on the role of mentoring high school students.
Telecommunications is a promising and sustainable industry, with the constant evolution of technology and the need for being connected providing job stability and room for growth. Paul Kostner, Director of the WITC Broadband Academy, and Dan Schullo, Project Coordinator of the WITC Broadband Academy, discussed how the programs offered at WITC plays an instrumental role in the telecommunications industry and their availability to high school students.
The Youth Apprenticeship (YA) Program offered by the Northwest Wisconsin CEP is a unique school-to-work program that integrates school-based and work-based learning to instruct students in employability and occupational skills defined by Wisconsin industries, including telecommunications.
Norvado serves as the premier telecommunications provider for Bayfield county and has been connecting the Cheqaumegon area to the world since 1950. Norvado continues to display its commitment to future of the communities it serves with a recent expansion of network capabilities to 100 gigabits.
For further information on mentorship, apprenticeship and internship opportunities available at Norvado, contact Josie Lupa-Fleig via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone, 715-798-7320.
 Wisconsin Demographic Services Center