“I struggled to see a future here. I saw a future in my work life, but I struggled to find a home life here. Seeing how the area’s non-profits care about the community and make a visible impact, it showed me that I can make an impact as well. I love the entrepreneurship and spirit of those in this community.”
-Pari Cecchini, Engineer at Greenheck 2017-2018 Program Participant
The Immersion Project is unlike any other program in the region. It is an intensive nine-month program designed to provide a greater insight and perspective of the various aspects of the Wausau region through:
- Educational and behind-the-scene tours
- Interactive activities and experiences
- Meaningful discussions
- Access to business and community leaders
- Learn about the Wausau region’s history and heritage and how the region is positioning itself for the future
- Understand the various aspects of government, public safety and the judicial system
- Engage in discussion about issues that face the region and how to get involved
- Explore the many forms of education and how it is repositioning for the future
- Learn about the importance and impact of entrepreneurship and agriculture in the region
- Understand the important roles and impact of service organizations in the region
- Gain a deeper understanding of what makes the region thrive and why it is a great place to live, work and play
- Identify volunteer and involvement opportunities throughout the region
- Expand and enrich personal and professional networks
- Cultivate a sense of ‘belonging’, engagement and social responsibility to the region
Why it is important for employers to support this program:
- Employer support demonstrates commitment for employee professional development and future leaders in the region
- Employees have an opportunity to expand and enrich their personal and professional networks – especially great for those who have relocated to the area
- Employees who are engaged are more likely to remain in the region
- Employees develop a greater personal and professional vision and “big picture” thinking
- Employees can be ambassadors for a business or organization’s recruitment efforts by adequately being able to communicate why the Wausau region is a great place to live, work and play
Who should participate:
- Individuals who are new to the region
- Individuals who’ve lived in the region for some/most of their lives and would like to gain a better understanding of the environment in which they work, live and play
- Individuals of all ages, professional levels and industries
This program requires participants to be standing and walking during all sessions. Every attempt will be made to accommodate those who are physically unable to stand or walk for long periods of time.
Session Topics & Dates:
Welcome & Introduction │Tuesday, September 11
History & Heritage │Wednesday, September 12
Community Development │Tuesday, October 9
Community Issues │Wednesday, October 10
Government │Tuesday, November 13
K-12 Education │Tuesday, December 11
Higher Education │Wednesday, December 12
Entrepreneurship & Homegrown Businesses │Tuesday, January 8
Agriculture │Wednesday, January 9
Non-Profit Organizations │Tuesday, February 12
Public Safety/Judicial System │Wednesday, February 13
Quality of Life - Day 1 │Tuesday, March 12
Quality of Life - Day 2 │Wednesday, March 13
Quality of Life - Day 3 │Tuesday, April 9
Community Involvement │Wednesday, April 10
Program Wrap Up │Tuesday, May 14
NOTE: Attendance at all sessions is not required, however, it is encouraged to maximize the impact of the program.
The Immersion Project for the 2018 - 2019 program year is limited to the first 20 participants.
Below is a brief glimpse of what the participants can expect during the program, plus much more!
Session 1: Welcome & Introduction
Exercise your problem-solving, innovation, shared leadership, and communication skills by participating in various networking and team building activities. These experiences will help you to create a closer bond with the members of your cohort while building trust and developing a deeper understanding of how to work collaboratively with one another.
Session 2: History & Heritage
Create a connection to the region in which you live, work and play. Learn about the local community, its historic roots, and how it has evolved over the years.
Gary Gisselman, librarian with the Marathon County Historical Society, will provide a historical presentation on the region's early history and community leaders.
Session 3: Community Development
Participants will have an opportunity to ask questions directly to a panel community development representatives to gain a deeper understanding of what is going on in our local communities and ways to get involved.
Session 4: Community Issues
- City of Abbotsford
- City of Wausau
- Town of Rib Mountain
- Village of Edgar
- Village of Kronenwetter
- Village of Maine
- Village of Marathon
- Village of Rothschild
Learn about pressing issues in our community and the support services and resources available locally.
Session 5: Government
Gain a deeper understanding and awareness of important topics and issues relevant to the area by learning about our local government.
Mayor Robert B. Mielke, City of Wausau
Brad Karger, Marathon County Administrator
Session 6: Public Safety/Judicial System
Learn first-hand about the public safety initiatives of Marathon County through behind the scenes presentations and private tours.
Session 7: K-12 Education
Become informed of how our K-12 education partners are cultivating a vibrant talent pipeline and preparing tomorrow's workforce for future careers.
Session 8: Higher Education
Become informed of how our higher education partners are cultivating a vibrant talent pipeline and preparing tomorrow's workforce for future careers.
Session 9: Entrepreneurship & Homegrown Businesses
Tour local businesses and hear from industry leaders on topics pertinent to business and commerce and the economic development of our region.
- In-depth LIFE Report Review
- Mental Health
- Marathon County AOD Partnership
Session 10: Agriculture
Learn about how agriculture plays a prominent role in the greater Wausau area by touring a number of area businesses and attractions that revolve around this important segment of our economy.
HSU'S Ginseng Farm Tour
Session 11: Non-Profit Organizations
Engage with local service and non-profit organizations and learn how they are making a difference in the community. Learn how you can get involved and make a real impact.
Session 12: Quality of Life - Day 1
Session 13: Quality of Life - Day 2
Session 14: Quality of Life - Day 3
One of the most unique aspects of the region is the area's commitment to the arts, culture and recreation. Experience the features that make Northcentral Wisconsin a great place to call home.
Sean Wright, Executive Director, The Grand Theater
Sean Wright came to the Performing Arts Foundation in January 2015 as the Executive Director of the organization. During his tenure, he has continued to build on The Grand’s commitment to providing the best in the performing arts for the region, as well as expanding the venue’s community and patron engagement initiatives. Under his leadership, The Grand played host to events that brought over 132,000 patrons through the doors in the 2016-17 season, including a record-setting 11 sold-out shows. The Grand was also recognized for the first time in Pollstar’s Top 200 theater venues in the world and has developed new programming such as the 10x10 series of emerging artists.
Wright previously served as the Director of the Leslie S. Wright Fine Arts Center at Samford University in Birmingham, AL and has also held positions in venues at the University of Alabama, Washington University in St. Louis and the University of North Carolina. Wright holds a bachelor’s degree from Westminster College (MO) and a master’s degree from the University of North Carolina.
Session 15: Community Involvement
Form ties to the community by getting involved with initiatives you are passionate about.
Session 16: Program Wrap Up
Celebrate your successes and achievements by reflecting on your experiences and the relationships you've gained throughout the Immersion Project.
NOTE: The content, presenters, and scheduled events for each session is subject to change at anytime without notice.
NOTE: The content, presenters, and scheduled events fr ech session is subject to change at anytime without notice.
Photos from the 2017-2018 Session:
Media Release: The Wausau Region Chamber of Commerce reserves the right to use any photographs or video taken at any program or event sponsored by the Chamber, without the expressed written permission of those included within the photographs or video. The Wausau Region Chamber of Commerce may use the photographs or video in publications or other marketing materials produced, used or contracted by the Chamber.