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, September 10, 2014
CONTACT: DWD Communications, 608-266-2722
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On Twitter: @WIWorkforce

In Cuba City, DWD Deputy Secretary Highlights Governor's Wisconsin Fast Forward Worker Training Initiative

Truck Country of Wisconsin awarded $320,000 in May to train workers to be certified diesel technicians

CUBA CITY – Department of Workforce Development (DWD) Secretary Reggie Newson today cited Truck Country of Wisconsin as an example of a Wisconsin employer that is addressing its need for skilled workers in a growing industry through innovative programs as part of Governor Walker's visionary Wisconsin Fast Forward (WFF) initiative.

"Governor Walker's approach to delivering customized, employer-driven training is helping Wisconsin companies in growing sectors like transportation employ the well-trained and skilled workers they need for success in the 21st century economy," Secretary Newson said. "In addition, these investments are creating new opportunities for participating workers to earn industry-recognized credentials and advance in their careers. Wisconsin Fast Forward is a win for job creators, a win for working families and a win for Wisconsin's economy."

Today, Deputy Secretary Jonathan Barry visited Truck Country of Wisconsin on Secretary Newson's behalf to meet with managers and workers. The company in May was awarded a $319,930 WFF grant to take 24 new hires from entry level experience to certified experts through a 10-month certified diesel technician program through Freightliner.

"Truck Country welcomes this opportunity to help create new jobs for Wisconsin," said Mike Birkett, VP of Human Resources for Truck Country. "These funds will enable us to implement enhanced training facilities and programs for diesel technicians, ensuring highly qualified workers for the future of the state and the trucking industry."

Deputy Secretary Barry urged Wisconsin employers and potential partners in training projects to submit proposals for the current round of Wisconsin Fast Forward grant opportunities.

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:

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 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.

For additional third round details, visit: