The MKE Tech Hub Coalition, an organization created to attract and retain technology talent and companies to metro Milwaukee, will receive a $385,000 grant from the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development for an apprenticeship program for technology skills.
The DWD’s Registered Apprenticeship program offers apprenticeships in a variety of occupational areas including agriculture, finance, health care, industrial/manufacturing, information technology, service and utilities. The program allows individuals to earn a wage and college credit while learning a trade.
The MKE Tech Hub Coalition has partnered with the DWD’s Bureau of Apprenticeship Standards as well as Apprenti, a Seattle-based apprenticeship program to build the region’s tech workforce.
Kohl's Corp. will provide training and serve as the first placement partner for trainees who successfully complete the program, said Kathy Henrich, MKE Tech Hub Coalition chief executive officer.
Apprenti will be launching operations in Milwaukee as part of the partnership. The company will provide training for the apprentices before they transition to local employers for on-the-job training.
“Building capacity for registered technology apprenticeships is a critical strategy for increasing the diversity of our tech workforce and demonstrates a collective commitment to develop local tech talent.” said Laura Schmidt, Milwaukee Tech Hub Coalition chief talent development officer.
Since launching four years ago, Apprenti has placed over 1,000 apprentices across 16 markets, according to a press release. Of those, 62% are people of color, 48% are veterans, almost 25% are women, and 14% are people with disabilities.
The Department of Labor recently awarded DWD a $9 million grant to expand its apprenticeship program. Wisconsin was one of 12 states to receive additional funding to support its apprenticeship efforts that go above and beyond the basic structure, according to a DWD press release.
The grant DWD awarded to the Tech Hub is part of a larger statewide funding effort called the Fast Forward initiative, which awarded $1.65 million in grants to 13 recipients who represent a variety of industries, from agriculture to information technology.
Other grant recipients include the following:
$69,050 - Wysocki Produce Farm, Inc.
$108,200 - SOFTEC Education, Inc.
$73,810 - Midwest Renewable Energy Association
$385,000 - MKE Tech Hub Coalition
$329,610 - Rockline Industries, Inc.
$17,500 - GPS Education Partners
$319,200 - Central Wisconsin Metal Manufacturers Alliance
$58,000 - Trachte LLC
$85,710 - ThermTech
$48,080 - AGRA Industries
$5,225 - Midwest Prototyping
$53,040 - WEL Companies
DWD expects funding to serve 26 Wisconsin-based businesses and train more than 950 workers, according to a press release. Gov. Tony Evers’ recently announced 2021-23’ budget proposal also includes an additional $10 million for the Fast Forward initiative.
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