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

DWD logo

Scott Walker, Governor
Reginald J. Newson, Secretary

Wednesday, July 30, 2014
CONTACT: DWD Communications, 608-266-2722
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On Twitter: @WIWorkforce

DWD Secretary Announces New Round of Wisconsin Fast Forward Grants, $8 Million Available to Employers for Customized Worker Training

Urges employers, partners to submit proposals; nine categories, including new Ag category

MADISON – Department of Workforce Development (DWD) Secretary Reggie Newson today announced new opportunities for customized worker training grants under Governor Walker's Wisconsin Fast Forward (WFF) initiative, with a total of $8 million available covering nine occupational categories including for the first time agriculture and related businesses.

"With this round, Wisconsin Fast Forward moves into high gear," Secretary Newson said. "The amount available exceeds what we've awarded so far, and we are seeking, innovative collaborative proposals in nine categories that reflect Governor Walker's vision in offering the Wisconsin Fast Forward initiative. Also new this round, we're seeking proposals from employers in agriculture and their partners for customized worker training."

Based on a comprehensive analysis of pressing workforce needs, the DWD Office of Skills Development (OSD) set the following categories, each with separate 2014 application deadlines and a range of possible grant awards:

For additional third round details, visit:

In analyzing workforce needs, OSD was assisted by DWD Labor economists and representatives from the Department of Revenue, Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation and the Wisconsin Technical College System. The analysis involved reviewing information from companies on their immediate needs, as well as skilled worker labor market employment projections.

Early last year, Governor Walker proposed the WFF initiative, which lawmakers quickly approved with overwhelming bipartisan support. WFF encourages partnerships between employers and workforce and economic development organizations. WFF targets funding to meet pressing needs for skilled workers and it includes accountability measures to ensure the state funds are well spent. The Department of Workforce Development's Office of Skills Development administers the program and monitors funded projects to ensure that unemployed trainees are hired and incumbent trainees receive a pay increase.

To learn more about Wisconsin Fast Forward grant opportunities, visit:

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