DWD Announces New Wisconsin Fast Forward Grants

As part of Governor Walker’s Blueprint for Prosperity, applications for grants being awarded for worker training programs have been released by the Wisconsin Department fo Workforce Development (DWD).

Nearly $1.5 million are available for programs which target training for high school students in high-demand fields looking for skilled workers. Secretary Reggie Newson of DWD explained the benefit of the grants, “We can target training investments in areas that bring together educators, employers, training providers, and other stakeholders to address the skills gap, expand opportunities for workers, and advance Wisconsin’s economy.”

Features of the new grant program include:

  • DWD’s Office of Skills Development (OSD) is seeking applications from Wisconsin businesses in collaboration with school districts, educational partners and/or technical colleges to train and hire high school pupils.
  • Potential grant amounts range from $5,000 to $150,000 per grantee. Grantees will need to match 50 percent of the grant amount through funds or in-kind sources.
  • Successful graduates of the program should receive employment opportunities in recognized high-demand fields with industry-recognized certifications.
  • Collaborations should define employer-driven workforce programs to train and hire high school pupils.
  • Examples of potential partnerships include technical college/high school dual credit academies, work-based learning programs, and pre-apprenticeship models.
  • The deadline for grant applications is April 21, 2014.

Other grants in the Blueprint for Prosperity include:

  • Grants for the Wisconsin Technical College System to reduce waiting lists for enrollment in programs and courses in high-demand fields.
  • Grants to public and private organizations or services provided by DWD to enhance employment opportunities for persons with disabilities.