State awards $714,000 for Racine County training programs

Part of $1.8 million in grants announced by DWD

Racine Mayor Cory Mason speaks at an event announcing the Racine Works training program.

Last updated on July 2nd, 2019 at 09:11 pm

The state Department of Workforce Development announced two grants Wednesday aimed at training 200 under or unemployed people in Racine County for a variety of positions.

Racine Mayor Cory Mason speaks at an event announcing the Racine Works training program in June. Another series of programs were announced Wednesday.

The two Racine County grants – totaling $714,103 – are part of more than $1.8 million in funding announced Wednesday by the department.

Racine Area Manufacturers and Commerce will receive $400,000 to train 100 people for positions as CNC operators, logistics technicians, truck drivers, electronic assemblers, welders, and construction jobs.

Racine County will also receive $314,103 to train another 100 people for similar positions to help upskill residents affected by job growth related to Foxconn.

The Racine County program includes a partnership with the Racine Community Foundation and the United Way of Racine County. The two organizations will combine to commit $90,000 to fund Community Connectors, a community-based organization that supports individuals throughout their employment progression.

Community Connectors is aiming to have 70 percent of the training recipients be out-of-school youth, women, veterans, minorities, ex-offenders, and long-term public assistance recipients. An additional 30 percent of the participants will come from western Racine County.

Gateway Technical College, WRTP-Big Step and First Choice Pre-Apprenticeship, a program of YMCA, will provide much of the worker training.  WRTP has committed $30,000 toward marketing and outreach services and UMOS is providing $100,000 for transitional job training and wage subsidies.

Training is expected to begin in early 2019. Officials said at least 22 Racine County employers have committed to hiring training recipients.

The training efforts are in addition to the $1.5 million Racine Works training program launched earlier this year, also with the help of DWD funding. That program is focused on training people for construction work, particularly the water utility projects related to Foxconn.

Other companies to receive funding in the latest round of grants from DWD included:

  • $400,000 for Marinette-based Veriha Trucking Inc. to train 143 new hires for a commercial driver’s licenses.
  • $50,421 for Pewaukee-based Midwest Engineered Systems to train 78 incumbent workers, two unemployed workers and five new hires for the manufacturing and automation industry
  • $242,180 for Appleton-based Pierce Manufacturing to partner with Fox Valley Technical College to provide GED and on-the-job training to 60 new hires.
  • $25,068 for Weir Slurry Group in Madison to train two new hires and six incumbent workers as machinists.
  • $6,312 for Imperium Chiropractic SC in Eau Claire to train one current employee and one new hire.
  • $75,606 for the Center for Veterans Issues to provide 30 unemployed veterans with training for the food service industry.
  • $238,220 for Milwaukee-based VJ Foods Inc. to provide training for 213 unemployed, 203 incumbent new hires and 10 incumbent workers at Burger King locations
  • $63,194 for Milwaukee-based VJD LLC to provide training to 67 unemployed, 64 incumbent new hires and four incumbent workers at Auntie Anne’s Pretzel locations.

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Arthur Thomas
Arthur covers manufacturing for BizTimes. He previously was managing editor at The Waukesha Freeman. He is a graduate of Carroll University and did graduate coursework at Marquette. A native of southeastern Wisconsin, he is also a nationally certified gymnastics judge and enjoys golf on the weekends.