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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

Thursday, June 11, 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

Developing Wisconsin's Workforce: DWD Assistant Deputy Secretary Highlights Successful Worker Training at DeForest Manufacturer

Employers across Wisconsin encouraged to apply for Wisconsin Fast Forward training grants

DEFOREST– Department of Workforce Development (DWD) Assistant Deputy Secretary Dave Anderson today visited Ball Corporation in DeForest, where he met with employees who are participating in a Wisconsin Fast Forward (WFF) grant initiative designed to help them develop new skills that will benefit both employee and employer.

"Under Governor Scott Walker's leadership, employers across Wisconsin are training their current and future workforce through the Wisconsin Fast Forward initiative, and workers are developing in-demand skills," Assistant Deputy Secretary Anderson said. "We urge other employers to consider applying for worker training grants under this innovative and successful program."

DWD awarded Ball Corporation a $90,000 grant to train 20 incumbent workers and 10 new hires in a new extruded aluminum can manufacturing line, the first of its kind for Ball in the United States. The grant will provide the company with the instructional capacity for previously developed curriculum.

"The Wisconsin Fast Forward grant we received is allowing us to provide our employees with skills that they can use to keep us competitive in today's economy," said Dan Rabbitt, vice president and general manager of Ball’s aerosol business. "It also is allowing us to bring on new workers that can start contributing on day one. We look forward to continuing our partnership with the State of Wisconsin as our workforce is strengthened and our company expands."

Assistant Deputy Secretary Anderson was joined on the tour by state Rep. Keith Ripp of Lodi and state Senator Luther Olsen of Ripon.

"A year ago, the Ball Corporation expanded and created new jobs in DeForest, and this Fast Forward grant will help this company further invest in our strong, local workforce as they develop their new manufacturing line," said Senator Luther Olsen.

"I had the privilege of touring the Ball Corporation in DeForest today. We met with workers and listened to their perspectives as they are enthusiastic to receive more professional training in their workplace," said Rep. Keith Ripp. "I am happy to see the bipartisan Fast Forward Initiative being implemented within our local communities throughout Wisconsin and in the 42nd Assembly District."

Also voicing support was State Senator Scott Fitzgerald of Juneau whose district includes Ball Corporation. "I am thrilled that the Department of Workforce Development was able to partner with the Ball Corporation through the Fast Forward program to provide continued workforce development opportunities within the 13th Senate District."

Assistant Deputy Secretary Anderson encouraged other employers and workforce partners to submit applications for potential WFF-funded projects.

Up to $8 million is available for customized worker training grants in nine occupational areas as part of Round 4 of the 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

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