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Governor Walker's Blueprint for Prosperity Adds $35.4 million to Wisconsin Fast Forward Initiative

DWD Announces First Round of Wisconsin Fast Forward - Blueprint for Prosperity Grant Applications

For More Information

Governor Walker's Blueprint for Prosperity Adds $35.4 million to Wisconsin Fast Forward Initiative

photo of DWD Secretary Reggie NewsonBy Reggie Newson, DWD Secretary

During Governor Scott Walker's State of the State address in January, he proposed a Blueprint for Prosperity, which provides significant tax relief and invests in worker training. His plan includes an additional $35.4 million in state funds to expand the Wisconsin Fast Forward program in three areas:

  • Reducing wait lists in high-demand fields at technical colleges. DWD has already engaged Wisconsin's technical colleges to identify their needs and the resources necessary to mitigate this need.
  • Encouraging collaborative projects among high schools, technical colleges, businesses, and others to increase opportunities that result in industry-recognized certifications for high school pupils. DWD issued the grant program announcement and application materials on March 28.
  • Programs that support the Governor's Year of the Better Bottom Line initiative, which helps people with disabilities enter the workforce. A grant program announcement for employer-defined training programs will be finalized in the coming weeks. Additional Wisconsin Fast Forward - Blueprint for Prosperity funds will go directly into an expansion of the existing Project SEARCH program from seven Wisconsin sites to 27. Project SEARCH is operated by partners including DWD's Division of Vocational Rehabilitation. It helps high school students with disabilities transition into employment.

As with the original Wisconsin Fast Forward working training grant program, which Governor Walker signed into law last year, DWD's Office of Skills Development (OSD) will implement Wisconsin Fast Forward - Blueprint for Prosperity.

DWD is working closely with partners to implement a transparent, accountable process that ensures the funds are disbursed quickly and efficiently, and that the process results in top-notch programs that equip workers with the skills necessary to move into a job in a growing sector of Wisconsin's economy.

We look forward to working closely with our many external partners, including the Wisconsin Technical College System, Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction, Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation, and many others, to ensure that these additional funds are made available for employer-led worker training efforts that result in the important skills that Wisconsin residents need to fill jobs that employers have available.


DWD Announces First Round of Wisconsin Fast Forward - Blueprint for Prosperity Grant Applications

DWD's Office of Skills Development (OSD) is now accepting the first wave of Wisconsin Fast Forward - Blueprint for Prosperity grant applications. The Grant Program Announcement (GPA) seeks applications for programs that target training to high school pupils for industry-recognized certifications in high demand fields.

The GPA is calling for applicants from Wisconsin businesses in collaboration with school districts, educational partners and/or technical colleges. Successful graduates of the program should receive employment opportunities in recognized high-demand fields with industry-recognized certification.

Up to $1.5 million in grants are available under this GPA, with individual grantee awards ranging from $5,000 to $150,000. DWD worked collaboratively with the Department of Public Instruction to develop the GPA.

Applications are due April 21. The GPA and application materials are available at http://WisconsinFastForward.com under "Blueprint for Prosperity."


For More Information

For updates on the progress of the Wisconsin Fast Forward - Blueprint for Prosperity initiative, please visit http://WisconsinFastForward.com and select "Blueprint for Prosperity" on the left-hand side.

If you have questions or need further assistance, please contact the Office of Skills Development.



Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development, PO Box 7946, Madison, WI 53707-7946 (608) 266-3131
http://dwd.wisconsin.gov

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