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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, June 19, 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

City of Racine Launches Racine Works, Receives DWD Fast Forward Grant

$1.5M program helps prepare City of Racine residents for public, private construction job opportunities

RACINE – Today, Racine Mayor Cory Mason and Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development (DWD) Secretary Ray Allen were joined by other local and state officials to announce Racine Works, a new workforce training program to help prepare City of Racine residents for public and private sector construction job opportunities tied to the influx of development throughout Racine County. Also announced today, Racine Works will receive $1.5 million in support through the City, DWD, UMOS and the Gateway Foundation.

"Our region will see more jobs tied to public and private development coming to the area than ever before," said Racine Mayor Cory Mason. "It is our responsibility, and my personal commitment, to do everything we can to make sure Racine residents are well-positioned to get those jobs."

In addition to workforce training, the City’s Racine Works program will require local hiring for publicly-funded municipal construction projects.

"The City is anticipating more than $100 million in utility work tied to water infrastructure projects for the Foxconn project alone," said Mason. "Thanks to the Racine Works program, we will be able to ensure that City residents have the skills needed for these jobs, and that contractors will be committed to hiring from within the City."

Through Racine Works, the City will partner with Racine County and other organizations and programs that are already training workers, including DWD's Wisconsin Fast Forward (WFF) worker training grant program, WRTP/BIG STEP, UMOS and First Choice Pre-Apprenticeship program.

The program will be funded by $500K allocated by the City of Racine, a $100K grant from the Gateway Foundation and a $400K WFF grant from DWD. The City also announced that UMOS has committed $500K in wage subsidies to Racine Works through its transitional jobs program.

Under Governor Walker's leadership, Wisconsin has invested more than $200 million over the past four years and more than $140 million in the current biennial budget to support workforce development, including funding to expand the WFF program to support the development of innovative training solutions to meet regional workforce demands. Learn more about WFF at http://www.wisconsinfastforward.com/.

"We are honored to collaborate with the City and County of Racine and local workforce partners by leveraging available training resources to address skilled labor demands in southeastern Wisconsin's booming construction industry," said DWD Secretary Ray Allen. "Governor Walker's Wisconsin Fast Forward grant program will fund customized worker training solutions, helping disadvantaged individuals and incumbent workers fill good-paying local construction jobs and advance their careers."