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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

Tuesday, December 9, 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

Wisconsin Fast Forward: Up to $3 Million Available in New Round of Blueprint for Prosperity School-to-Work Grants

Applications available Dec. 22 for plans to train high school students for in-demand careers

MADISON - Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development (DWD) Secretary Reggie Newson today announced a second round of Wisconsin Fast Forward - Blueprint for Prosperity grants for high school pupil worker training projects. Applications for up to $3 million in grant funding will be available starting December 22.

"Innovative school-to-work collaborations are strengthening communities across Wisconsin as Governor Walker's Wisconsin Fast Forward-Blueprint for Prosperity initiative develops a robust pipeline of skilled workers," Secretary Newson said. "A new round of grant funding will help meet the demand for additional cutting-edge training programs and capacity-building strategies."

DWD's Office of Skills Development (OSD) will seek applications from Wisconsin businesses for employer-driven workforce programs in collaboration with school districts, educational partners and/or technical colleges to train and hire high school students. Highlights of the upcoming Grant Program Announcement (GPA) include:

Examples of high school pupil training program partnerships include dual credit academies, work-based learning programs and pre-apprenticeship models. Successful projects ensure that graduates receive employment in documented high-demand fields with industry-recognized certifications.

Early last year, Governor Walker's Wisconsin Fast Forward program was quickly approved with overwhelming bipartisan support to address the skills gap through a $15 million investment in grants to employers for customized skills training to fill current job openings and ongoing skill requirements. The program is administered by the OSD, which has developed an effective process that enables businesses to easily apply for grants.

In March, Governor Walker signed legislation under his Blueprint for Prosperity initiative to invest an additional $35.4 million in the Wisconsin Fast Forward program to reduce technical college wait lists in high-demand fields, enhance employment opportunities for persons with disabilities and support collaborative school-to-work projects. The first round of High School Pupil Worker Training grants funded 30 projects to train and employ 949 high school students.

The High School Pupil Worker Training GPA and application materials will be available starting December 22 at: wisconsinfastforward/prosperity/.

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