Gov. Jim Doyle says $4.55 million in federal workforce investment will be directed at training Wisconsin workers in the skills employers say they will need when hiring picks up as the nation and state climb out of the Great Recession.
Doyle announced the new federal funds today at the Wisconsin Regional Training Partnership/BIG Step Center of Excellence for skilled trades in Milwaukee in front of a mock-up house used for worker training.
“The real challenge is to make sure that those funds are doing two things,” Doyle said. “One, is that we have a consistent vision and are working together and not at cross-purposes for how those funds are used, and second, that we are in fact getting people educated and trained in areas that employers are looking for people to hire.”
The funds come on top of $5.5 million in federal funds awarded last year, which the governor said have already helped about 33,000 people.
The funds will be focused on training people for careers in the areas of clean energy, advanced manufacturing, biosciences, construction and healthcare. Doyle said industry leaders have said workers are in demand in those fields.
The funds are to be divided among five areas:
- $3 million for industry partnership grants to train workers in the areas of clean energy, advanced manufacturing, biosciences, construction and healthcare.
- $350,000 for manufacturing skills certification .
- $500,000 for grants between $500 and $1,000 for part-time students in the state’s technical colleges.
- $100,000 for “jumpstart” grants to help adults earn a high-school diploma and training at a technical college.
- $300,000 for apprenticeships for long-term care health care workers.
Bucyrus International Inc. president and chief executive officer Tim Sullivan, who leads the Governor’s Council on Workforce Investment, highlighted how he has worked with Doyle’s support for a regional, industry-driven approach to workforce investment.
“The reason we are getting money this year is because those strategies were incredibly successful,” Sullivan said. “If the results are there, more money will come.”
In addition to Sullivan, the governor was joined by Department of Workforce Development Secretary Roberta Gassman, Milwaukee Democrats Rep. Barbara Toles and Sen. Lena Taylor, Milwaukee Area Workforce Investment Board president Don Sykes, Wisconsin Regional Training Partnership executive director Earl Buford and other industry and workforce development leaders.