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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

January 11, 2018
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 Joins Blackhawk Technical College to Launch Mechatronics Apprenticeship Program

MADISON – Today, representatives from the Department of Workforce Development's (DWD) Bureau of Apprenticeship Standards (BAS) attended a signing event at Blackhawk Technical College's (BTC) Advanced Manufacturing Center in Milton to officially launch BTC's new Mechatronics Apprenticeship program.

The development of the program was a joint effort between BTC, BAS and DWD's regional workforce partner, the Southwest Wisconsin Workforce Development Board (SWWDB). Sponsoring employers include Bell Laboratories, Miniature Precision Components, Pratt Industries Corrugating, Scot Forge, Seneca Foods Corp. and Emmi Roth USA, Inc.

"Individuals who pursue a Mechatronics apprenticeship can expect to be trained to support robotics and automation technologies used in modern manufacturing processes," DWD Secretary Allen said. "With input and strong support from area employers, this program will help develop talent to fill good-paying, family-supporting advanced manufacturing jobs well into the future."

Mechatronics is one of several new apprenticeship programs that BAS is developing in the Wisconsin Apprenticeship Growth and Enhancement Strategies (WAGE$) project. The source of funding for WAGE$ is a $5 million American Apprenticeship Initiative Grant that was awarded in 2015 by the U.S. Department of Labor (USDOL). Covered occupations span the Advanced Manufacturing, Health Care, and IT industries, and the project will expand upon other existing programs. Up to 1,000 new apprentices, including 542 incumbent workers will undergo training and skills development as part of WAGE$. DWD is implementing the project across the state in collaboration with the Wisconsin Technical College System (WTCS) and the Wisconsin Workforce Development Association (WWDA).