DWD logo

Tony Evers, Governor
Amy Pechacek, Secretary-designee

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
Thursday, August 5, 2021
CONTACT: DWD Communications, 608-266-2722
CommunicationsOffice@dwd.wisconsin.gov

DWD Announces Wisconsin Fast Forward Grant Recipients

Grant funding will serve 16 businesses in Wisconsin and train 445 workers.

MADISON – Employers in manufacturing, technology, agribusiness, forest products, education, and nonprofit sectors from 10 Wisconsin counties have been awarded more than $1.17 million in grants from the Department of Workforce Development (DWD). The grants are part of DWD's Wisconsin Fast Forward (WFF) program, which provides targeted funds to support worker training, education, and recruitment.

Fast Forward funds reimburse employers for the cost of providing customized occupational training for those who are unemployed, underemployed, and for current employees. Grants are available to all Wisconsin employers. The program encourages statewide economic growth by helping employers train workers and fill positions to meet critical needs for a skilled workforce.

"Fast Forward industry training grants help employers find and develop the skilled talent they need to boost Wisconsin's economy while also offering a path to well-paying jobs for unemployed workers and higher wages and more opportunities for growth for current employees," said DWD Secretary-designee Amy Pechacek.

Fast Forward connects employers with local and regional economic development organizations, workforce development boards, post-secondary institutions, nonprofit organizations, and private training providers. The program aims to enhance worker skills across the state in response to the needs of Wisconsin's workforce for better jobs with family-sustaining wages and the needs of Wisconsin's employers for highly skilled, occupationally trained workers.

Find the 2021 Wisconsin Fast Forward grant recipients below.

Customer Service

Green Bay Area Public Schools (Brown County) – DWD issued a grant of $149,270 to Green Bay Area Public Schools, which is partnering with Northeast Wisconsin Technical College to provide 915 hours of paraeducator training to 15 workers employed in non-teaching school district jobs. The college level training is transferable and will lead to an industry-recognized credential.

Healthcare

Urban League (Dane County) – DWD issued a grant of $185,320 to the Urban League of Greater Madison (ULGM), which is partnering with Exact Sciences to provide up to 100 hours of work readiness training and 96 hours of structured classroom training to 90 unemployed trainees from underserved populations, including persons of color, individuals traditionally underrepresented in STEM industries, people who are negatively impacted by COVID-19, and formerly incarcerated individuals. The trainees will have the opportunity to enter the high-growth bio-medical field and have a career pathway job with Exact Science in the areas of clinical lab operations, customer support, order entry/billing, and guest experience services.

Prevention Genetics (Marathon County) – DWD issued a grant of $26,022 to Prevention Genetics, which will provide internal training to four employees as part of a Ph.D. fellowship program. The training will take place for three months where trainees will learn and apply knowledge and experience gained from a commercial testing laboratory to identify and interpret genetic abnormalities, provide consultation to health care practitioners and colleagues, and be involved in the day-to-day responsibilities for the operation and standards of a genetic testing laboratory.

Manufacturing

Fox Valley Workforce Development Board (Winnebago County) – DWD issued a grant of $399,460 to the Fox Valley Workforce Development Board, which is partnering with Amcor Packaging Co. to provide 1,597 hours of training to 35 employees. The training includes classroom and hands-on skill building with equipment on the production floor of Amcor's extrusion department.

Ki Mobility (Portage County) – DWD issued a grant of $43,350 to Ki Mobility, which is partnering with Mid-State Technical College to provide 192 hours of training to 50 employees. The training will equip the trainees with the skills necessary to advance into leadership positions and prepare them to manage and onboard incoming employees. The company has seen tremendous growth and this training will allow the workforce to keep pace with the company's growth.

Tomahawk Live Trap (Oneida County) – DWD issued a grant of $20,000 to Tomahawk Live Trap, which is partnering with UW Stout's Manufacturers Outreach Center to provide 216 hours of training to 40 employees workers in six different courses focused on continuous improvement and Six Sigma. Ten incumbent workers will become lean certified to implement and sustain lean practices for the company.

Nicolet Hardwoods (Forest County) – DWD issued a grant of $18,090 to Nicolet Hardwoods Corp., which is partnering with Hurst Boiler & Welding Co. to train three employees on the operation and safety features of a new machine. Completion of training will result in receipt of the manufacturer's Certificate of Boiler Training.

Ocean Spray Cranberries Inc. (Monroe County) – DWD issued a grant of $70,000 to Ocean Spray Cranberries, which is partnering with Manage Assist to provide training to 31 employees. Courses will cover emotional intelligence, equipment conscious operators, risk management and mitigation, and succession planning. Training will allow the company to meet its goals for trainees to develop their potential and progress in their careers.

Omni Glass & Paint (Outagamie County) – DWD issued a grant of $51,400 to Omni Glass & Paint LLC, which will provide 320 hours of training to eight employees and six unemployed workers. The training is focused on glass tempering and manufacturing production along with Lean Six Sigma training from Fox Valley Technical College. Trainees will have the potential to earn incremental wage increases and bonuses based on skills assessments as part of the training program.

ASI (Brown County) – DWD issued a grant of $30,000 to ASI, which is a Division of Thermal Technologies Inc. ASI will partner with Manage Assist to train 31 employees. Courses will cover leadership skills, continuous improvement (CI), identifying and eliminating waste, workplace organization, inventory management, and sales skills. Training will allow ASI to meet its business goals, increase compensation levels for incumbent workers, and further employee career development.

Louisiana-Pacific (Sawyer County) – DWD issued a grant of $9,000 to Louisiana-Pacific, which is partnering with Manage Assist to train 32 employees. Courses will cover lean manufacturing, supervision, and management concepts and strategies. Training will allow Louisiana Pacific to meet business goals, increase compensation levels for incumbent workers, and further employee career development.

Transportation

Vera Court Neighborhood Center (Dane County) – DWD issued a grant of $171,280 to Vera Court Neighborhood Center, which will provide a total of 205 hours of training to 90 unemployed trainees through the Bilingual Transportation and Logistics Training program. Trainees will earn certifications in Spanish and English. Certifications will include OSHA10, forklift license, CPR, and pallet jack certification. Placement partners have committed to hiring 77 trainees upon successful completion of the program.

To learn more about DWD's Wisconsin Fast Forward Program and how you can apply, visit: http://wisconsinfastforward.com/wff_standard.htm.