DWD logo

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
Wednesday, May 27, 2015
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

Secretary Newson Visits Sturgeon Bay Manufacturer, Highlights Worker Training Grant Initiative

DWD Secretary encourages more employers, partners to apply for Wisconsin Fast Forward grants

STURGEON BAY– Department of Workforce Development (DWD) Secretary Reggie Newson today visited ExacTech, Inc. in Sturgeon Bay, where he met with employees who are developing in-demand skills through training supported by Governor Walker's Wisconsin Fast Forward (WFF) grant initiative.

"Wisconsin Fast Forward helps employers fill vacancies through customized talent development solutions that train workers for skills that are in demand," Secretary Newson said. "At ExacTech, workers are building the foundation for family-supporting careers as the company fills its labor market needs. This program is a winner for workers, employers, and for our state's economy."

In December 2014, DWD announced its intent to award ExacTech, Inc. a WFF worker training grant in partnership with Northeast Wisconsin Technical College to hire and train individuals in heavy metal welding. The company is currently contracted for approximately $121,800 out of the original intent-to-award total of up to $164,405. Trainees will receive a wage rate of $13.50/hour. It is anticipated that those who successfully complete their training will receive wage increases up to $22.50/hour.

“We are pleased to welcome Secretary Newson to ExacTech to see firsthand how our partnership with Department of Workforce Development and NWTC is leading to more local entry-level job opportunities," said Erich Pfeifer, President. "As this demonstration project progresses, we will look to expand our partnership even further to accelerate job opportunities here in Sturgeon Bay.”

Secretary Newson also urged other employers and workforce partners to consider applying for a WFF grant. Up to $8 million is available for customized worker training grants in nine occupational areas as part of Round 4 of Governor Walker's Wisconsin Fast Forward (WFF) initiative. DWD set the following categories, each with separate 2015 application deadlines and a range of possible grant awards:

For additional fourth round details, visit: http://dwd.wisconsin.gov/wff/announcements.htm

Governor Walker signed the WFF program into law in 2013 with the Legislature's 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 DWD's Office of Skills Development, which has developed an effective process that enables businesses to easily apply for grants.

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