Scott Walker, Governor
Raymond Allen, Secretary
Department of Workforce Development
201 E. Washington Avenue
P.O. Box 7946
Madison, WI 53707-7946
Telephone: (608) 266-3131
Fax: (608) 266-1784
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 12, 2017
CONTACT: Tom Evenson, (608) 267-7303
Grant application period begins January 13 for construction and small business customized worker training initiatives
Madison – Following the 2017 State of the State Address earlier this week, which focused on developing Wisconsin’s workforce talent, Governor Scott Walker joined Department of Workforce Development (DWD) Secretary Ray Allen in announcing up to $3 million in new Wisconsin Fast Forward (WFF) grants are now available. The grants are intended to provide Wisconsin employers with customized worker training solutions for construction and small business workers, and the grant application period begins tomorrow, Friday, January 13.
"One of the greatest challenges facing Wisconsin now is bridging the skills gap and finding workers to fill jobs in high-demand sectors," Governor Walker said. "Workforce development is a top priority for us for 2017 and beyond, and these Wisconsin Fast Forward grants incentivize state employers to implement training programs that provide workers with the practical skills they need to succeed. Programs like Wisconsin Fast Forward, Youth Apprenticeship, and Project SEARCH remove barriers to employment and are crucial as we continue towards our goal of ensuring anyone who wants a job can find a job here in Wisconsin."
The DWD Office of Skills Development (OSD) set Construction and Small Business Grant Program Announcement (GPAs) based on a comprehensive analysis of pressing workforce needs that included skilled worker labor market employment projections and the immediate worker training needs of employers. GPA details follow:
"Governor Walker’s Wisconsin Fast Forward program continues to fuel business growth and the economy through effective, employer-driven workforce training grants," said DWD Secretary Allen. "DWD is seeking innovative and collaborative grant proposals to provide construction and small business workers with portable skills training and industry recognized credentials."
The OSD has developed an effective process that enables businesses to easily apply for grants, ensuring that unemployed trainees are hired and incumbent trainees receive a pay raise. Funding is subject to state budget approval.
During the past four years, Governor Walker’s administration has invested over $200 million of state funding into workforce development, including $30 million in WFF grants to Wisconsin employers for customized skills training to fill current job openings and ongoing skill requirements. DWD has awareded over $18 million in WFF grant contracts to date, supporting nearly 200 worker training projects that are benefitting hundreds of businesses and thousands of workers across the state. View intent to award summaries here.
For more information or to learn how to apply for grants, please visit www.WisconsinFastForward.com.