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

DWD logo

Scott Walker, Governor
Reginald J. Newson, Secretary

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, July 24, 2014
CONTACT: DWD Communications, 608-266-2722
On the Web: http://dwd.wisconsin.gov/dwd/news.htm
On Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/WIWorkforce
On Twitter: @WIWorkforce

Blueprint for Prosperity: Lt. Governor Kleefisch Announces $419,524 Grant to Train Dozens of Workers at Blackhawk Technical College

Wisconsin Fast Forward grants are awarded as part of Governor's Blueprint for Prosperity Initiative

JANESVILLE – Lt. Governor Rebecca Kleefisch today announced the award of up to $419,524 in Wisconsin Fast Forward grant dollars to Blackhawk Technical College (BTC) to train over three dozen workers for in-demand fields. The award is part of $28 million in grants that Governor Walker recently announced as part of his Blueprint for Prosperity initiative to help Wisconsin technical college train over 4,900 workers for jobs that employers need to fill.

"The investments we are making in Blackhawk Technical College under Governor Walker's leadership will enhance opportunities for working families in Rock County area and help employers find the workers they need," Lt. Governor Kleefisch said. "It is through investments like these that Wisconsin will address the skills gap today and in the years to come."

The Department of Workforce Development (DWD) will administer the grants, which will add capacity to 100 programs at all 16 technical colleges and accommodate up to 4,908 additional students in training programs. Training programs cover key industry sectors such as manufacturing, health care, transportation, construction and architecture, and education.

During a visit to the BTC campus, Lt. Governor Kleefisch announced DWD's intent to award the technical college $419,524 to train 38 additional workers in the following high-demand areas:

"It has been our great pleasure to work with the Department of Workforce Development on the Blueprint for Prosperity grant program. For Blackhawk, the timing could not be better," said Dr. Tom Eckert, Blackhawk Technical College President. "The additional funds provide us the opportunity to add faculty to two of our greatest in-demand programs: CNC (precision machining) and Welding."

Governor Walker signed 2013 Act 139 into law in March 2014 as part of his Blueprint for Prosperity initiative following the strong bipartisan support of the state Legislature. The legislation allocated an additional $35.4 million in funds to the Wisconsin Fast Forward worker training program with a focus on three areas:

Technical colleges submitted initial lists of programs for grant consideration earlier this year. DWD developed objective, data-driven measurement tools to validate wait lists for grant eligibility purposes, evaluate each technical college's funding request, make award decisions, and include accountability measures to protect taxpayers' investment.