DWD logo

Scott Walker, Governor
Raymond Allen, Secretary

Department of Workforce Development
Secretary's Office

201 E. Washington Avenue
P.O. Box 7946
Madison, WI 53707-7946
Telephone: (608) 266-3131
Fax: (608) 266-1784
Email: sec@dwd.wisconsin.gov

Tuesday, August 16, 2016
CONTACT: DWD Communications, 608-266-2722
On the Web: http://dwd.wisconsin.gov/news/
On Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/WIWorkforce
On Twitter: @WIWorkforce

DWD Secretary Visits Bemis Company Facility in Oshkosh, Highlights Demand-Driven Worker Training Program

OSHKOSH – Today, Department of Workforce Development (DWD) Secretary Ray Allen visited the Bemis Company's Oshkosh North Facility to highlight the successful completion of a Wisconsin Fast Forward (WFF) worker training grant project.

"Governor Walker's Wisconsin Fast Forward worker training program supports customized skills training that has helped hundreds of Wisconsin employers like Bemis fill current job openings and ongoing skill requirements," Secretary Allen said. "Thousands of workers across the state are reaping the economic benefits of developing in-demand skills that lead to good-paying jobs or, for incumbent workers, a wage increase."

DWD awarded the Fox Valley Workforce Development Board (FVWDB) a $229,000 Wisconsin Fast Forward grant to address employer demand for skilled industrial maintenance workers by training current employees for career advancing jobs and better wages at 11 employers including: Arrowhead Conveyor Corporation, Bemis Healthcare Packaging, Bemis Packaging, Bemis Wisconsin, Busse/SJI Corporation, Hoffmaster Group, Hoffmaster Group – Food Service, Marvel Manufacturing Company, McCain Foods USA, Sargento Foods and Waupaca Foundry.

Participating businesses selected training content for delivery by Fox Valley Technical College (FVTC) in an accelerated format across multiple shifts. Trainees were paid by their employers to attend training once a week for 8 hours over two semesters. Program graduates earned 10 technical college credits, a completion certificate and the skills required for career advancement with wage increases up to $3 per hour.

In May, DWD officials joined the FVWDB to celebrate the successful completion of 46 Industrial Maintenance trainees during a graduation ceremony at FVTC.

"Under Governor Walker, the DWD is more focused than ever on ways we can develop the workforce to meet the needs of Wisconsin's employers," Secretary Allen said. "Through companies like Bemis, who have experienced success through this innovative program, we are now seeing positive results for working families, for businesses and for Wisconsin's economy. "DWD programs do not work without dedicated employers like Bemis Company who recognize the benefit Wisconsin Fast Forward provides.

The WFF program addresses the skills gap through a $30 million investment in grants for customized, in-demand skills training to meet employers' needs to fill current employment opportunities and to develop on-going skill requirements. Nearly 200 grant contracts have been issued to provide in-demand worker training to over 17,000 workers at more than 450 businesses.

Learn more at: wisconsinfastforward.com