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Scott Walker, Governor
Raymond Allen, 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, February 7, 2018
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

Lt. Governor Kleefisch and DWD Secretary Allen Announce Over $1.6 million in Wisconsin Fast Forward Grants

MADISON – Lt. Governor Rebecca Kleefisch and Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development (DWD) Secretary Ray Allen today visited Jay Manufacturing in Oshkosh to announce over $1.6 million for 17 Wisconsin Fast Forward grant contracts benefitting nearly 50 businesses and over 900 trainees throughout Wisconsin.

"Governor Walker's Wisconsin Fast Forward program is helping hundreds of employers and thousands of workers address the skills gap and grow the economy across the state," said Lt. Governor Kleefisch. "Program-funded grant training ensures that businesses have the expert talent needed to expand operations while equipping trainees with portable skills and industry-recognized credentials to advance their careers and fill good-paying jobs in high-demand occupations."

Governor Walker's leadership, Wisconsin has invested over $200 million over the past four years and over $140 million in the current biennial budget to support workforce development, including additional support for the WFF program.

"Thanks to Governor Walker's ongoing commitment to the Wisconsin Fast Forward program, local employers and trainees continue to benefit from customized worker training grants," Secretary Allen said. "Since the program's start in 2013, the Fox Valley Workforce Development Board has partnered with the Fox Valley Technical College and employers like Jay Manufacturing to develop innovative, collaborative grant projects that have given the region an edge in talent development."

The Fox Valley Workforce Development Board (FVWDB) received two grant contracts to provide high-skill job training through Fox Valley Technical College (FVTC) for 60 workers, including individuals who are employed at Jay Manufacturing and eight other manufacturers in the region.

Anthony Snyder, FVWDB CEO, says that the collaborative effort of these companies helps ensure that they will remain competitive: “The skills needed to produce cost effective products and maintain manufacturing equipment are necessary for these companies. In addition to the grant funding, partner companies are making a significant investment to train their employees. There is a lot of talk right now about what economic development really is and I see these grants as a great example of both economic and workforce development."

"Our company is honored to partner with the Department of Workforce Development, Fox Valley Workforce Development Board, Fox Valley Technical College and other regional employers to make grant training a reality. It is a win-win for our business and our employees," said Tony Robinson Executive Vice President/COO at Jay Manufacturing.

DWD opened two ongoing WFF Grant Program Announcements (GPAs) benefitting All Sectors and Small Business Occupations last July. The changes reflect recent program enhancements to better address the training needs of Wisconsin businesses from a variety of industries and sectors, as well as support greater collaboration among employers to develop training projects in real time, rather than having wait for a grant cycle to open.

Details for the full grant awards are available online.

Learn more about current WFF grant opportunities and awarded projects at: http://www.wisconsinfastforward.com/

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