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

Thursday, July 24, 2014
CONTACT: DWD Communications, 608-266-2722
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Blueprint for Prosperity: DWD Secretary Newson Announces $884,362 Grant to Train 60 Workers at Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College

Wisconsin Fast Forward grants are awarded as part of Governor's Blueprint for Prosperity Initiative

SUPERIOR – Department of Workforce Development (DWD) Secretary Reggie Newson today announced the award of up to $884,362 in Wisconsin Fast Forward grant dollars to Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College (WITC) to train 60 workers for in-demand fields. DWD Assistant Deputy Secretary Dave Anderson delivered the announcement on Secretary Newson's behalf at the WITC campus.

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.

"This additional investment of Wisconsin Fast Forward funds will help Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College equip workers with skills that employers need to fill throughout the region," Secretary Newson said. "The investment is reflective of Governor Walker's comprehensive agenda to develop the workforce and address the skills gap."

DWD will administer the grants, which will add capacity to 100 programs at all 16 technical colleges and accommodate up to 4,908 additional students in training programs. Training programs cover key industry sectors such as manufacturing, health care, transportation, construction and architecture, and education.

DWD intends to award WITC up to $884,362 to train 60 additional workers in welding.

"This Blueprint for Prosperity funding will be crucial to the citizens and employers of northwest Wisconsin," said Dr. Robert Meyer, President of Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College. "There is tremendous demand for skilled welders in the region and this grant will significantly expand WITC's capacity to prepare more students for careers in welding. This support will be essential to the economy in northwest Wisconsin."

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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