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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
Thursday, December 18, 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

DWD Secretary Newson Announces Intent to Award $430,952 in Wisconsin Fast Forward Grants to Train 226 Workers

Grants to Wisconsin employers for training small businesses and customer service occupations

MADISON – Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development Secretary (DWD) Reggie Newson announces the DWD's intent to award $430,952 in worker training grants to help 24 employers develop in-demand skills for 226 workers through Round 3 of Governor Walker's Wisconsin Fast Forward (WFF) initiative.

"The Wisconsin Fast Forward program is helping small businesses and the customer service sector enhance the skills of workers to fuel business development and economic growth," Secretary Newson said. "These important projects will provide customized training solutions to meet the demands of employers and provide their workers with the skill sets needed for career advancement."

In July, Secretary Newson announced the availability of an additional $8 million in grants to support customized training opportunities in nine areas, including small businesses and customer service occupations. Highlights of today's grant announcements include:

Secretary Newson last week announced DWD's intent to award nearly $4 million in WFF grants to help 57 employers develop in-demand skills for almost 3,600 workers. Today's announcement brings the total number of WFF grants awarded since the program began to over $10.4 million. The grants cover approximately 10,500 current and new workers with the high-demand skills that are required by almost 250 employers.

Early last year, Governor Walker proposed the $15 million WFF grant initiative, which lawmakers quickly approved with overwhelming bipartisan support. WFF encourages partnerships between employers, training partners and workforce and economic development organizations, and awards grants to support customized training solutions for skilled workers.

The WFF program is administered by the DWD Office of Skills Development (OSD), which has developed an effective process that enables businesses to easily apply for grants. Applications are evaluated by representatives from OSD, the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation, Wisconsin Technical College System, and local chambers of commerce.

DWD expects to make additional WFF – Round 3 grant announcements soon for innovative training projects in the financial services, information technology, health care and agriculture industries.

Wisconsin Fast Forward Grant Awards

Small Businesses

Business Partner

County

Intent to Award

Pioneer Roofing, LLC

Jefferson

$50,000

Management Research Services, Inc.

Waukesha

$50,000

Lac Courte Oreilles: Convenience Center, Quick Stop, The Landing Resort, Ojibwe Java Coffee Shop, Country Store and C2 Spur

Sawyer

$9,700

HiTech Manufacturing Solutions, Inc.

Brown

$5,500

Dream Systems

Marathon

$38,000

Brandtjen & Kluge, Inc. and Unipunch

Polk

$47,500

Bloomer Machine & Fab

Chippewa

$9,350

Wisconsin Marketing Services, Inc.

Milwaukee

$10,000

Protocol Financial Services, LLC

Rock

$23,598

Larson's Custom Cabinets

Chippewa

$32,445

Activedogs.com

Rusk

$5,000

GPI Corp.

Marathon

$26,240

TOTAL

12

$307,333

Customer Service

Business Partner

County

Intent to Award

UnitedHealth Group, Schneider National and West Corporation

Brown

$61,467

UnitedHealth Group and West Corporation

Marathon

$53,676

SMC, Ltd.

St. Croix

$8,476

TOTAL

3

$123,619

A summary including additional details on each approved application can be found here http://wisconsinfastforward.com/reports.htm.

To learn more about Wisconsin Fast Forward, visit WisconsinFastForward.com.

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