The Wisconsin Department of Workforce Developmentannounced this week more than $3.8 million in Wisconsin Fast Forward grants that will be dispersed to 24 employers and used to help train 1,415 workers.
The WFF grant program awards funds to Wisconsin businesses to reimburse costs associated with occupational training. The grants cover training costs for those who are unemployed or underemployed, as well as for incumbent workers. Participants who successfully complete the training program will gain opportunities for employment, higher-level employment or increased wages.
"These partnerships provide training to bridge the gap between supply and demand when it comes to Wisconsin's workforce needs. Our state has a great workforce and Fast Forward grants reward workers with new opportunities and higher wages through training," said Amy Pechacek,DWD secretary-designee. "The grants also give employers a competitive edge by boosting retention and recruitment through skills development. Investments through Wisconsin Fast Forward grants are proven to expand the state's talent pipeline and connect unemployed and other workers with in-demand skills that are needed for family-supporting jobs."
Here in southeastern Wisconsin, more than $1 million of funding is being directed to local employers. They include:
Milwaukee Tech Hub Coalition: The organization is getting $108,500 to support a partnership with Indianapolis-based Eight Eleven Group LLC. Both groups will provide tech training to 50 unemployed individuals.
Talgo Inc.: $264,640 to train 159 workers at its Milwaukee plant.
WFF grants range from $5,000 to $400,000 and projects require a 50% cash or in-kind employer match. The grant program is open to all industry sectors. The training must provide transferrable skills. Individuals eligible for training are incumbent workers, underemployed workers, and the unemployed.