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

Monday, September 22, 2014
CONTACT: DWD Communications, 608-266-2722
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On Twitter: @WIWorkforce

Blueprint for Prosperity: In Sturgeon Bay, DWD Deputy Secretary Highlights Innovative School-to-Work Home Construction Program

STURGEON BAY – At a groundbreaking ceremony today, Department of Workforce Development (DWD) Deputy Secretary Jonathan Barry said the Door Kewaunee Business & Education Partnership's (DKBEP) High School Home Construction Project will advance the goals of Governor Walker's Wisconsin Fast Forward-Blueprint for Prosperity worker training initiative.

"Today we recognize the importance of the investment that Governor Walker has made for workforce development throughout the state," Deputy Secretary Barry said. "Through this project, high school students are able to gain real-world experience that will better equip them for a career after school. At the same time, local employers will benefit as young workers develop the skills they need to be successful."

DKBEP earlier this year was awarded a Wisconsin Fast Forward-Blueprint for Prosperity grant of $57,575 to train 15 high school students for careers as rough and finish carpenters, general builders, drywall installers, and stone masons. The annual High School Home Construction Project is a partnership between Northeast Wisconsin Technical College, Door County Homebuilders Association, six area school districts and 14 local businesses. Successful trainees will gain a Structural Systems Certificate and placement opportunities at local businesses.

DWD Deputy Secretary Barry joined student trainees, employers, local officials and others at the groundbreaking ceremony, which took place at this year's home construction site in Sturgeon Bay.

"For the past seven years this program has experienced great success," said Tara LeClair, Business and Education Manager at DKBEP. "Over 80 students have had the unique opportunity to not only learn all the aspects of residential home construction but physically apply what they learn in a real-world environment. Students have realized 80 percent success moving into local employment and/or post-secondary education in the trades. This is the real achievement of the program and exactly what we wanted to see happen in an effort to grow the skilled workforce in our local economy."

The grant to DKBEP is one of 30 that DWD recently announced as part of the $2.1 million investment in school-to-work programs across the state. The grants cover training for up to 949 high school pupils and could involve employment at up to 153 employers.

During his 2014 State of the State address, Governor Walker proposed a $35.4 million expansion of the Wisconsin Fast Forward (WFF) worker training program as part of his Blueprint for Prosperity to focus on school-to-work collaborations and two other areas:

For additional information on Wisconsin Fast Forward, visit

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