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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, February 14, 2017
CONTACT: DWD Communications, 608-266-2722
On the Web: http://dwd.wisconsin.gov/news/
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On Twitter: @WIWorkforce

Lt. Governor Kleefisch and DWD Secretary Allen Announce Nearly $480,000 in Wisconsin Fast Forward – Milwaukee Grant Awards

Seven projects to benefit approximately 600 workers, 13 employers

MILWAUKEE – Lt. Governor Rebecca Kleefisch and Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development (DWD) Secretary Ray Allen visited Word of Hope Ministries today in Sherman Part to announce seven Wisconsin Fast Forward (WFF) – Milwaukee Grant Program Announcement (GPA) awards totaling $480,000. Grant awards will benefit nearly 600 workers and 13 local employers in the healthcare, childcare, food production, printing, construction, manufacturing and customer service sectors.

"Governor Walker's Wisconsin Fast Forward program is helping Milwaukee residents gain the employment training needed to secure local, good paying jobs in high demand occupations," said Lt. Governor Kleefisch. "These employer-driven worker training grants will provide trainees with portable skills and industry recognized credentials while fueling business growth and the economy."

Under Governor Walker's leadership, Wisconsin is investing $4.5 million to strengthen workforce and economic development opportunities in the city of Milwaukee, including committing WFF – Milwaukee GPA funds to help residents develop in-demand job skills for employers in Milwaukee and the surrounding area.

"Through Governor Walker's commitment to rebuild and strengthen Milwaukee, we are working closely with city and regional partners to help local employers recruit, hire and train the skilled talent they need to grow and expand," Secretary Allen said. "Wisconsin Fast Forward worker training grants are a critical part of this strategy, providing innovative training solutions to help Milwaukee residents develop in-demand job skills required by local employers."

Word of Hope Ministries is among the seven grantees that received a $200,000 grant to train as many as 300 workers, 150 each for Patrick Cudahy and Quad/Graphics.

Joining Lt. Governor Kleefisch and DWD Secretary Allen at today's event were Department of Health Services Secretary Linda Seemeyer and Department of Corrections Assistant Deputy Secretary Patrick Hughes, who represented DOC Secretary Jon Litscher.

DOC Secretary Litscher said, "Under Governor Walker’s leadership, DOC is committed to moving forward in partnership with DWD and Wisconsin’s technical colleges to provide vocational training to inmates that will prepare them for jobs in the community, as we know that employment can have a significant positive impact on inmates when they release into the community. Governor Walker’s proposed investments will enable DOC to further expand and focus reentry efforts to connect those releasing from prison with employment opportunities in the community."

Milwaukee area workers and employers are also benefitting from four previous rounds of Wisconsin Fast Forward grants, providing in-demand worker training opportunities across nine industry sectors and occupational areas.

In 2013, Governor Walker proposed the WFF initiative which was approved by the Wisconsin State Legislature with overwhelming bipartisan support. WFF encourages partnerships between employers and workforce and economic development organizations to provide worker training that is not readily available through existing education or training providers. Over $18 million in WFF grant contracts has been issued to date, supporting nearly 200 worker training projects and benefitting hundreds of employers and thousands of workers across Wisconsin.

A complete list of WFF-Milwaukee worker training grant awardees is available online.

Learn more about current WFF grant opportunities and awarded projects at: http://www.wisconsinfastforward.com/