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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, September 9, 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

DWD Awarded $5 Million Federal Grant to Enhance Apprenticeship

MADISON – The Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development (DWD) has been awarded a $5 million grant by the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) to enhance the agency's already leading-edge apprenticeship program.

"Wisconsin is on the forefront of talent development initiatives, including our nationally recognized, first-in-the-nation Registered Apprenticeship program," Secretary Newson said. "This grant will expand skills training for some 1,500 workers in occupations that are in demand by employers, taking our Registered Apprenticeship program to a new level and moving Wisconsin's economy forward."

“Apprenticeship is such a fantastic way for people to get into high-growth, high-wage careers," Wisconsin Technical College System (WTCS) President Morna Foy said. "This grant is affirmation of the great work being done here in Wisconsin to expand these opportunities.”

DWD's Bureau of Apprenticeship Standards (BAS) will invest the grant funds in the Wisconsin Apprenticeship Growth and Enhancement Strategies (WAGE$) project. WAGE$ will register new apprenticeships in 12 high-growth occupations in the Advanced Manufacturing, Healthcare, and IT industries, and the project will expand upon other existing programs. Up to 1,000 new apprentices and 542 additional incumbent workers will undergo training and skills development.

DWD will work in collaboration with WTCS and the Wisconsin Workforce Development Association (WWDA) on a framework to develop, promote and deliver Registered Apprenticeship programs. Existing programs such as the Veterans in Piping (VIP) program provided by the United Association of Journeymen and Apprentices of the 18 Plumbing and Pipe Fitting Industry (UA), and the Chicago Women in Trades (CWIT) programs, will be leveraged to provide entry points for specific underrepresented populations.

The WAGE$ project is the latest in a series of steps that DWD is taking to modernize and position the Registered Apprenticeship program as a national model. In April 2015, DWD presented the 2015 Wisconsin Apprenticeship Summit action plan, which culminated the work of state, national and international experts who convened in January 2015 at a summit that was facilitated by the National Governors Association (NGA) and hosted by The Johnson Foundation at Wingspread to focus on apprenticeship strategies and recommendations.

The DWD grant award is among $175 million that the DOL awarded to 46 applicants across the country through its American Apprenticeship grant to train and hire more than 34,000 new apprentices over the next five years. Other successful Wisconsin-based applicants included in today's DOL announcement include the Milwaukee Area Workforce Investment Board ($10 million) and the Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design ($3 million).

Information and summaries for the American Apprenticeship Grants

Information about DWD's Bureau of Apprenticeship Standards

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