Department of Workforce Development
Secretary's Office

201 E. Washington Avenue
P.O. Box 7946
Madison, WI 53707-7946
Telephone: (608) 266-3131
Fax: (608) 266-1784

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Scott Walker, Governor
Reginald J. Newson, Secretary

Tuesday, July 22, 2014
CONTACT: DWD Communications, 608-266-2722
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On Twitter: @WIWorkforce

Lt. Governor Kleefisch: Wisconsin Fast Forward Helps Madison College Address Skills Gap with Customized, Demand-Driven Training Programs

Up to $5 million in state funds support training of more than 900 workers in key industry sectors

MADISON – During a visit today to Madison College, Lt. Governor Rebecca Kleefisch recognized the technical college for its plan to train hundreds of area workers for in-demand jobs using $5 million in Wisconsin Fast Forward (WFF) grant dollars that were awarded through the Governor's Blueprint for Prosperity initiative.

"In Wisconsin, our economy is moving in the right direction but employers continue to cite a need for skilled workers to fill open positions," said Lt. Governor Rebecca Kleefisch. "Wisconsin is on the fast track to address the skills gap through Governor Walker's Fast Forward initiative. The investments we are making in Madison College and other state technical colleges will enhance opportunities for working families and help employers find the workers they need."

Madison College will receive up to $5,009,710 in WFF-Blueprint for Prosperity funds to train 934 additional workers in the following high-demand areas:

"At Madison College, student success is Priority One," said Madison Area Technical College President Jack Daniels. "The greatest measure of that success is in the number of students who enter the job market – and stay here in South-central Wisconsin. The support through the “Blueprint for Prosperity” initiative provides opportunities to educate and train additional students currently on wait-lists that are interested in employment in high demand industries such as health care, construction and advanced manufacturing. Upon completion, these students will not only find jobs – they will launch careers.”

The award to Madison College is part of $28 million in grants that Governor Walker recently announced for the Wisconsin Technical College System to help all 16 technical colleges train up to 4,908 workers in 100 programs for jobs that employers need to fill. The award to Madison College is the largest of the 16 technical colleges. The Department of Workforce Development (DWD) will administer the grants. Training programs cover key industry sectors such as manufacturing, health care, transportation, construction and architecture, and education.

Governor Walker signed 2013 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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