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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

Wednesday, June 3, 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 Meets Northwest Wisconsin Businesses to Highlight Governor's Workforce Investments and Initiatives

MADISON – Today, Department of Workforce Development (DWD) Secretary Reggie Newson visited Northwest Wisconsin to highlight innovative training programs that encourage workers to build their careers in the region, and encourage job creators to continue locating and expanding in the state.

"Communities in Northwest Wisconsin are reaping the economic rewards from the talent development innovations that are being advanced under the leadership of Governor Walker," Secretary Newson said. "These are the strategic investments that will keep all regions of the state moving forward."

Secretary Newson began the day with a presentation to the Polk County Manufacturing Educators Advisory Committee about DWD's transition to a talent development agency. He then traveled to Somerset for a tour of SMC., Ltd., which in December 2014 was awarded up to $66,814 in Wisconsin Fast Forward (WFF) worker training grant funds for three initiatives.

"As a company founded and built in Wisconsin, SMC Ltd. is grateful to receive these grants from the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development," said Chetan N. Patel, President and Founder, SMC Ltd. "The grants allow us to accelerate our training programs in Customer Service, Robotics, and Quality, creating training programs that will continue for years to come. SMC is committed to promoting from within and continuing to create a highly skilled, cutting edge workforce. Our people make the difference and we strive to provide career pathways to increasingly higher-skilled occupations."

Following the visit, Secretary Newson traveled to Grantsburg for a roundtable discussion featuring local businesses. He urged businesses to consider applying for the current round of WFF grants. Up to $8 million is available for demand-driven, customized training in multiple industries.

Representative Adam Jarchow of Balsam Lake joined Secretary Newson for the day's events and said he appreciated the Secretary's visit and dialogue with area job creators.

'I was thrilled to have Secretary Newson and his staff from the Department of Workforce Development in Northwestern Wisconsin this morning," Rep. Jarchow said. "Their work with the Wisconsin Fast Forward grant program has been outstanding and it is a program that I fully support. Wisconsin Fast Forward grants have helped countless students achieve their goals and gain employment in their respective fields. I look forward to working with DWD in the future to help continue this worthwhile effort."

Grant Program Application Period Now Open: The DWD Office of Skills Development set Round 4 categories based on a comprehensive analysis of pressing workforce needs that included skilled worker labor market employment projections and immediate worker training needs of employers. Application deadlines and a range of possible grant awards follow:

All applications are due by 5 p.m. Funding is subject to state budget approval. For Round 4 details and dates for informational webinars about the application process, visit: http://www.wisconsinfastforward.com/grants.htm.

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