Fast Forward deploys first round of grants

Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development Secretary Reggie Newson has announced the first round of funding in Wisconsin Fast Forward, a $15 million worker training grant program that launched this year.

The first round awarded $2.6 million to 32 innovative projects that emphasize employer-driven training through collaboration among employers, workforce boards, technical colleges and labor organizations.

Of the 32 awards, three are in construction, five are for customer service representatives, four are for small manufacturing and 20 are for large manufacturing.

Among the awardees is RockTenn Cp LLC in Germantown, which will receive $206,000 to train 165 current employees on new equipment to improve the company’s corrugating and converting processes, after which the trainees will receive a pay increase.

Sussex-based Quad/Graphics Inc., which will receive $52,000 to run a blended training program on customer service and sales for 25 new recruits and five existing employees.
Lange Brothers’ Woodwork Co. Inc. in Milwaukee, Quest Engineering Inc. of Richfield, Advanced Coating Inc. of West Bend and the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Wisconsin in Milwaukee were also among the first round grant recipients.

The state plans to award another $7.5 million in the second round for training in: health care and related occupations; information technology; transportation, logistics and distribution; financial services; manufacturing; construction trades and related occupations and small businesses.

More information about the program and application instructions are available at

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