Worker Advancement Initiative

The Worker Advancement Initiative will serve people whose previous employment has not come back post-pandemic, as well as those who were not attached to or were not successful in the labor market prior to the pandemic, by offering subsidized employment and skills training opportunities with local employers.

Worker Advancement Online Application


  • Program Announcement: July 14, 2021
  • Application Opens: July 23
  • Application Deadline: August 13
  • Fund Distribution: TBD

Applicant Eligibility

Wisconsin's 11 Workforce Development Boards (WDB) in partnership with community-based organizations who will serve workers unemployed due to the pandemic or resulting recession, or who were already unemployed at the start of the pandemic and remain so due to the pandemic and recession impacts.


Provide subsidized work opportunities to around 2,000 individuals who would not otherwise be able to successfully participate in the labor force. Programs will serve clientele who will most benefit from a continuum of services to recover from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and better engage in the post-pandemic economy.

Use of Funds

Successful WDB applicants will provide the following services to eligible clients:

  • Paid work experience opportunities to develop and/or enhance job skills (wage subsidies),
  • Hard- and soft-skill training so participants can acquire occupational skills in in-demand jobs along with critical work-based skills needed to succeed,
  • On-the-job training opportunities that will lead to economic self-sufficiency, and
  • Support services to address related barriers to employment, which may include assistance for childcare, housing, transportation, and worker stipends.