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DWD Makes $2.7 Million in Wisconsin Fast Forward Grant Funds Available

Office of Skills Development Ready to Administer Wisconsin Fast Forward Grant Program

Grant Program Announcements Available

DWD Launches New Wisconsin Fast Forward Website

Information Sessions for Interested Businesses and Partners

DWD Makes $2.7 Million in Wisconsin Fast Forward Grant Funds Available

photo of DWD Secretary Reggie NewsonBy Reggie Newson, DWD Secretary

Today, Governor Walker announced $2.7 million in Wisconsin Fast Forward grant program announcements for businesses in the manufacturing, construction, and customer service industries.

Since the Governor signed the Wisconsin Fast Forward legislation earlier this year, the Department of Workforce Development (DWD) has worked diligently to lay the groundwork, developing a process that is transparent, accountable, and maximizes the impact of the funds in training workers for in-demand occupations.

The legislature, in concert with the Governor, has moved quickly to approve administrative rules that enable the Wisconsin Fast Forward program to work quickly and efficiently in reviewing business applications, awarding grants, and ensuring that grants meet expected outcomes.

Finally, the success of this program relies on our close partnerships with the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation, Wisconsin Technical College System, Wisconsin's workforce development boards, and local business and trade associations. All of our partners, along with businesses, post-secondary institutions, members of the legislature, and others, have been invaluable in providing input as the program has been developed.

I want to thank everyone for their collaboration in this process. Through this program, businesses around Wisconsin will have the opportunity to develop customized training programs that will provide skilled workers and allow them to remain globally competitive.


Office of Skills Development Ready to Administer Wisconsin Fast Forward Grant Program

a photo of Scott Jansen, Director of Office of Skills DevelopmentBy Scott Jansen, Division of Employment & Training Administrator/OSD Director

The grants announced today will provide Wisconsin businesses with funds to train workers where a clear workforce need has been established, providing an avenue for incumbent workers, as well as unemployed and underemployed individuals to receive targeted skills training. The process that has been developed reflects careful review by the Office of Skills Development (OSD) of a number of existing programs that have operated successfully around the country.

OSD has also heard from employers, educators, workers, economic and workforce development experts, and many others throughout Wisconsin. The choice of the manufacturing, construction and customer service sectors for the initial rounds of grants reflected the consensus of the technical advisory committee that these industries have significant opportunities for workers in Wisconsin.

Grant applications will be reviewed and scored by the OSD staff and an independent grant review committee appointed by the Governor's Council on Workforce Investment. Small businesses are encouraged to apply on their own or in collaboration with local or regional partners. OSD staff will be available to assist applicants with technical issues in the application process.

Moving forward, the Office will make sector focused grant program announcements available on a quarterly basis, with announcements developed based on input from Wisconsin businesses that complete the inquiry form and from the Wisconsin Fast Forward technical advisory committee.


Grant Program Announcements Available

Today, four grant program announcements have been made available on WisconsinFastForward.com. Visit the website for information on available grants and information on how to complete the application process:

  • Worker training grants for Wisconsin Manufacturers:
    • Sector: Manufacturing
    • Company Size: Any
    • Total Available Funds: $1 million
    • Award Amount: $5,000 - $400,000
    • Match: $1 applicant: $1 Wisconsin Fast Forward
    • Deadline: December 16, 2013

  • Worker training grants for Small Wisconsin Manufacturers:
    • Sector: Manufacturing
    • Company Size: 50 employees or less
    • Total Available Funds: $400,000
    • Award Amount: $5,000 - $50,000
    • Match: $.50 applicant: $1 Wisconsin Fast Forward
    • Deadline: December 16, 2013

  • Worker training grants for Wisconsin Construction Companies:
    • Sector: Construction
    • Company Size: Any
    • Total Available Funds: $300,000
    • Award Amount: $5,000 - $50,000
    • Match $.50 applicant: $1 Wisconsin Fast Forward
    • Deadline: December 2, 2013

  • Worker training grants for Customer Service Representatives:
    • Sector: Various
    • Company Size: Any
    • Total Available Funds: $1 million
    • Award Amount: $5,000 - $400,000
    • Match: $1 applicant: $1 Wisconsin Fast Forward
    • Deadline: December 9, 2013

DWD Launches New Wisconsin Fast Forward Website

As part of the launch, the Office of Skills Development has unveiled a new website for the Wisconsin Fast Forward grant program. The new website, located at WisconsinFastForward.com, will enable businesses to provide information on skill gaps, review available grant announcements, apply for grants, and learn about the Wisconsin Fast Forward grant program.

Visit WisconsinFastForward.com to learn more.


Information Sessions for Interested Businesses and Partners

Wisconsin Fast Forward Application Information Sessions will be held on Monday, November 11, 2013 from 10:00 11:30 a.m. OR 1:30 3:00 p.m. at the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development, 201 East Washington, Madison, WI Room F305.

Space is limited, so please email WisconsinFastForward@dwd.wisconsin.gov to reserve your spot.


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

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