DWD Issues Intent to Award $2.1 million in
By Reggie Newson, DWD Secretary
When DWD sought grant proposals to support innovative school-to-work models
with Wisconsin Fast Forward -- Blueprint for Prosperity funds, it was
unclear how much of the $1.5 million that we estimated for the program would be
I am pleased to announce the volume of grant applications far exceeded our
expectations, so much so that we have finalized the intent to award $2.1 million
in funding for 30 projects, all of them to prepare a new generation of workers
with the skills needed to fill jobs that employers have available.
You may recall that Governor Walker signed legislation this year under his "Blueprint
for Prosperity" to provide $35.4 million to expand the DWD-operated
Wisconsin Fast Forward worker training grant program into three areas:
- Grants to support projects that bring together school
districts, technical colleges and businesses to provide high
school pupils with industry-recognized certifications in
high-demand fields. DWD moved ahead on this front and is
notifying successful applicants this week.
- Grants for the Wisconsin Technical College System to reduce
waiting lists for enrollment in programs and courses in
- Grants to public and private organizations or services
provided by DWD to enhance employment opportunities for person
We were encouraged by the enthusiastic response to our grant request for high
school pupil projects. Collectively, the training stands to provide some 150
Wisconsin employers with the opportunity to hire workers trained in high-demand
fields such as advanced manufacturing, health care and construction.
Additionally, the successful proposals include over 900 student trainees under
An intent to award summary is available at
Wisconsin Fast Forward --
Blueprint for Prosperity
In addition to funds to train high school pupils in high-demand fields,
Governor Walker's Blueprint for Prosperity initiative also includes
funds to reduce waiting lists at Wisconsin Technical Colleges in high-demand
fields and programs that support Governor Walker's Year of A Better Bottom
Line, which helps workers with disabilities enter the workforce.
DWD has been working closely with Wisconsin's 16 technical colleges on the
wait list reduction program and has engaged several stakeholders to develop a
grant announcement to enroll workers with disabilities in employer-defined
Additionally, Governor Walker previously announced that funds from this
program will be used to expand the Project SEARCH program from 7 to 27 sites
around Wisconsin. The Project SEARCH program is operated by several state-level
partners in conjunction with Wisconsin businesses and enable high school student
with disabilities to transition into employment.
For More Information
To learn more about this or other Wisconsin Fast Forward -- Blueprint for
Prosperity grants, visit the
Blueprint for Prosperity
section of the Wisconsin Fast Forward website. From
"Blueprint for Prosperity" on the left-hand side.
If you have questions or need further assistance, please contact the Office of Skills Development.