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