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DWD logo

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

October 17, 2018
CONTACT: DWD Communications, 608-266-2722
On the Web: http://dwd.wisconsin.gov/news/
On Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/WIWorkforce
On Twitter: @WIWorkforce

Wisconsin DWD Announces Wisconsin Fast Forward Grant Recipients

Over $1.8 million awarded to train nearly 1,100 workers; nearly $715,000 awarded to Racine area

MADISON – Department of Workforce Development (DWD) Secretary Ray Allen today announced the award of more than $1.8 million in Wisconsin Fast Forward (WFF) worker training grant funding that will train almost 1,100 workers and provide incumbent, underemployed, and unemployed workers with the skills that employers demand in today's 21st century economy. The 10 separate grant awards will serve 25 Wisconsin businesses.

"The Wisconsin Fast Forward awards announced today span multiple in-demand industries such as advanced manufacturing, transportation, customer service and more, providing thousands of workers with the skills they need to succeed in their career, and helping businesses meet their demand for skilled workers," Secretary Allen said. "Today's award announcement totaling over $1.8 million and serving nearly 1,100 workers builds upon the program's past investment in Wisconsin's workforce totaling nearly $25 million since the program's inception in 2013."

He continued, "It is worth noting that over $700,000 has been awarded to Racine County entities to assist with training workers to meet the unprecedented growth in jobs that will result from the Foxconn project."

Grant awards announced today include:


Racine Area Manufacturers and Commerce ($400,000)
Racine Area Manufacturers and Commerce is proposing to train 100 unemployed and underemployed individuals for positions as CNC operators/programmers, logistics technicians, truck drivers, electronic assemblers, and construction/carpentry builders and welders.

Veriha Trucking, Inc. ($400,000)
Veriha Trucking, Inc. will train 143 new hires to earn a Commercial Driver's License. Training will take place in the classroom, on a L3 simulator, and on the range, with both local and regional behind-the-wheel training over 4-6 weeks, depending on individual trainee needs.


Racine County ($314,103)
Racine County is proposing to train 100 unemployed and underemployed individuals as CNC operators, industrial maintenance technicians, manufacturing operators, customer service specialists and hospitality specialists. The project will upskill residents for legacy businesses that may be affected by unprecedented job growth from Foxconn.

Midwest Engineered Systems, Inc. ($50,421)
Midwest Engineered Systems, Inc. will train 78 incumbents, two unemployed and five new hires in the manufacturing and automation industry. Training will include courses on basic robotics, robot safety and risk assessment, Solidworks, as well as leadership courses for supervisors and management.

Pierce Manufacturing, Inc. ($242,180)
Pierce Manufacturing will partner with Fox Valley Technical College to provide training to 60 incumbent new hires working to receive a General Education Development certificate (GED) and on-the-job training (OJT) as production workers. Training will take place at the college and on-site at Pierce Manufacturing. Trainees will attend 12 weeks of classroom instruction combined with OJT. Trainees will also be allocated nine additional months to study for and pass the GED exam.

Weir Slurry Group, Inc. ($25,068)
Weir Slurry Group is partnering with Madison College to provide training to two incumbent new hires and six incumbent workers as machinists. Training will take place at Madison College. Trainees will attend four classes that will run six weeks as well as complete a three-hour safety course for a total of 147 hours of training.

Small Business

Imperium Chiropractic, SC ($6,312)
Imperium Chiropractic, SC will provide training to one incumbent and one incumbent new hire, which will be completed within three to six months depending on their existing skill set.

Customer Service

Center for Veterans Issues, Ltd. ($75,606)
Center for Veterans Issues will train 30 unemployed veterans for employment in the food service industry. Trainees will receive 600 hours of training consisting of both classroom and OJT experience over the course of 4- 16 weeks depending on the needs of the individual trainee.

VJ Foods Inc. ($238,220)
VJ Foods will train 213 unemployed, 203 incumbent new hire, and 10 incumbent workers for a total of 426 trainees. Training will consist of four programs depending on the trainee's occupation: restaurant manager, assistant manager, shift manager, and crew member. Burger King is in the process of developing a new program "YATSE" Advance Training.

VJD LLC ($63,194)
VJD will train 67 unemployed, 64 incumbent new hire, and four incumbent workers for a total of 135 trainees. Training will consist of five programs depending on the trainee's occupation: crew member, restaurant manager, special event manager, assistant manager, and shift manager. Auntie Anne's Pretzel is in the process of developing a new program "YATSE" Advance training.

More information on the Wisconsin Fast Forward worker training grant program can be found online at WisconsinFastForward.com.