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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

Monday, March 27, 2017
CONTACT: Tom Evenson, 608-266-2839
On the Web: http://dwd.wisconsin.gov/news/
On Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/WIWorkforce
On Twitter: @WIWorkforce

Governor Walker Announces Fast Forward Worker Training Grants Covering Health Care

Altoona – Governor Scott Walker joined Department of Workforce Development (DWD) Secretary Ray Allen at Grace Lutheran Communities – River Pines today to launch the application period for up to $3 million in Wisconsin Fast Forward (WFF) worker training grants for health science, health care, and related occupations.

“Targeted investments in training for new and existing health care workers will develop the highly-skilled, dependable workforce Wisconsin is known for,” Governor Walker said. “Developing our workforce to deliver high-quality care throughout the state is very important as this sector continues to be a leader in Wisconsin's economy and nationally.”

In February 2017, 397,600 people were employed in health care in Wisconsin. Since December 2010, 38,900 new Wisconsin health care jobs have been created. Hospitals throughout the state employ over 107,000 individuals.

The DWD Office of Skills Development (OSD) set the Health Science, Health Care and Related Occupations Grant Program Announcement (GPA) based on a comprehensive analysis of pressing workforce needs that included skilled worker labor market employment projections and the immediate worker training needs of employers.

“Current vacancy rates for health care employees, combined with expected growth in the sector make the availability of these grants imperative,” said Secretary Allen. “The Wisconsin Fast Forward program will produce health care job candidates who have the skills that are in demand by employers today and into the future."

Governor Walker's Wisconsin Fast Forward program was approved with overwhelming bipartisan support in 2013. Its mission is to train and retain highly skilled Wisconsin workers. To date, DWD has awarded more than $18 million in WFF grant contracts, supporting approximately 200 worker training projects that benefit hundreds of businesses and thousands of trainees across the state.

The OSD has developed an effective process that enables businesses to easily apply for grants, ensuring that unemployed trainees are hired and incumbent trainees receive a pay raise. GPA details follow:

Governor Walker’s 2017-2019 Biennial Budget also supports Wisconsin’s healthcare industry and professionals through the following provisions:

Grace Lutheran Communities has been helping their friends and neighbors all over western Wisconsin since 1960. The nonprofit organization specializes in rehabilitation, assisted living, skilled nursing, child care, independent living and adult day services. For more information on the Wisconsin Fast Forward (WFF) grant program, click here.