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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

Friday, July 20, 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

Wisconsin DWD Awards 3 Grants to Fund Employee Resource Networks that Support Nearly 2,900 workers

Awards funded through Governor Walker's Wisconsin Fast Forward program

MADISON – Today, the Department of Workforce Development (DWD) announced three Wisconsin Fast Forward Grants that will fund Employee Resource Networks (ERN) - public/private partnerships with the goal of uniting businesses and community partners to improve job retention and advancement for entry-level, low-wage, and low-skilled workers. A distinguishing feature of an ERN is that participating businesses pay a share of network costs in exchange for membership.

"Through these partnerships, workers will have on-site support in the form of a case manager or success coach, providing assistance in the form of employment support service to address various barriers to continued employment, improve worker performance and increase workforce retention for local employers," DWD Secretary Ray Allen said. "With Wisconsin's unemployment rate at a historic low of 2.8 percent, ensuring that individuals remained employed while reducing costs for businesses due to turnover is another way we are supporting and growing Wisconsin's workforce."

The grant contracts announced today include:

The Wisconsin Fast Forward program is a nationally recognized, innovative talent development solution driven by Wisconsin businesses to train and retain highly skilled workers. Under Governor Walker's leadership, more than $200 million has been invested over the past four years and over $140 million was included in the current biennial budget to support workforce development, including funding to expand the Fast Forward program to support the development of innovative training solutions to meet regional workforce demands.

For more information, visit http://wisconsinfastforward.com/