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July 18, 2014
CONTACT: Laurel Patrick, (608)267-7303
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Blueprint for Prosperity: Governor Scott Walker Announces $2.6 Million Grant to Train Almost 550 Workers at Milwaukee Area Technical College

Wisconsin Fast Forward grants help train more people for in-demand careers

Milwaukee – Governor Scott Walker today announced the award of nearly $2.6 million in Wisconsin Fast Forward grant dollars to Milwaukee Area Technical College (MATC) to train up to 546 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.

"Wisconsin is known for its skilled, dependable workforce, which is a major factor in a business’ decision to either expand in or move to Wisconsin," Governor Walker said. "The Wisconsin Fast Forward program makes targeted investments in worker training, which will strengthen the workforce and ensure we have workers to fill the jobs of today and tomorrow."

The Department of Workforce Development (DWD) administers the grants, which add capacity to 100 programs at the state’s 16 technical colleges. Up to 4,908 additional students will be able to access training programs that cover key industry sectors including manufacturing, health care, transportation, construction and architecture, and education.

The capacity includes funds for up to 84 offenders to take part in the Department of Corrections' new manufacturing mobile lab program so these individuals have skills that lead to jobs that support themselves and their families upon their return to the community.

During a visit to the MATC campus, Governor Walker announced DWD's intent to award the technical college $2,590,518 to train 546 additional workers in the following high-demand areas:

"This grant will provide MATC the opportunity to prepare area residents for employment in high-demand fields in southeastern Wisconsin," said MATC President Dr. Vicki J. Martin. "These programs are among our most popular and the funds will allow us to educate, train, and prepare more students for careers that are essential to Wisconsin’s economic vitality."

Governor Walker signed 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.

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