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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
Monday, December 22, 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: DWD Opens Second Round of Blueprint for Prosperity School-to-Work Grants

Up to $3 million available to train high school students for in-demand careers

MADISON – Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development (DWD) Secretary Reggie Newson announces today the opening of the second round of Governor Walker's Wisconsin Fast Forward – Blueprint for Prosperity initiative with up to $3 million for innovative high school pupil worker training grants.

"Businesses across the state are praising the first round of Governor Walker's Wisconsin Fast Forward – Blueprint for Prosperity High School Pupil grant program for developing a young and ready-to-work pipeline of skilled workers who are industry trained and certified," says Secretary Newson. "In round two, grants will be awarded to new, cutting-edge school-to-work projects, as well as to current grantees for new strategies that engage more employers and train more youth."

DWD's Office of Skills Development (OSD) seeks 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. Grant Program Announcement (GPA) highlights follow:

Examples of high school pupil training program partnerships include work-based learning, apprenticeship preparation and dual credit models. Successful projects ensure that graduates receive industry-recognized certifications from 2013 Wisconsin Act 59 approved list and obtain employment in documented high-demand fields.

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 are available at: http://wisconsinfastforward.com/prosperity/.

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