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Scott Walker, Governor
Reginald J. Newson, Secretary

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
Email: sec@dwd.wisconsin.gov

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, October 07, 2014
CONTACT: DWD Communications, 608-266-2722
On the Web: http://dwd.wisconsin.gov/dwd/news.htm
On Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/WIWorkforce
On Twitter: @WIWorkforce

Deadlines Approaching for Round 3 of Governor Walker's Wisconsin Fast Forward Initiative

$8 million in Grants Available to Employers for Customized Worker Training

MADISON – Department of Workforce Development (DWD) Secretary Reggie Newson urges small businesses and employers with customized worker training needs in Agriculture, Customer Service and Health Care to apply for grants under Round 3 of Governor Walker's Wisconsin Fast Forward (WFF) initiative. A total of $8 million is available for innovative and collaborative proposals that address Wisconsin's skills gap through demand-driven training to fill current job openings and ongoing skill requirements.

"Round 3 moves Wisconsin Fast Forward into high gear," Secretary Newson said. "Not only does the amount available exceed what has been awarded previously, but it expands our ability to provide customized worker training grants to employers in Wisconsin's important agricultural industry."

WFF categories were set based on a comprehensive analysis of pressing workforce needs. Deadlines and a range of possible grant awards for the remaining Round 3 grant program announcements follow:

Grant application training webinars have been scheduled to assist employers with application process. The next opportunity to participate is Thursday, October 9 from 9:00 – 11:00 a.m. To access the webinar and to download the necessary materials, visit http://wisconsinfastforward.com/announcements.htm. Groups of employers and industry associations are welcome to request customized applications trainings by sending an e-mail to WisconsinFastForward@dwd.wisconsin.gov.

Secretary Newson shares, "More than 200 employers and their workforce and economic development partners have participated in Round 3 grant application trainings to learn about the process and gain insight on the required information for a successful proposal. Employers that are interested in submitting an application are encouraged to attend a session to hear from our grant experts and to ask application questions."

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 how to apply for grants or for more information, visit www.WisconsinFastForward.com.

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