State awards FVTC and Partners with Grant for Innovative Training Program

State awards FVTC and Partners with Grant for Innovative Training Program

Project will help reverse economic and mental health hardships created by pandemic

| By: Daley-Hinkens, Carmelyn M

Governor Tony Evers was in New London today to announce that Fox Valley Technical College and partners Rawhide Youth Services and Goodwill Industries of North Central Wisconsin have been selected to receive a $6.5 million Workforce Innovation Grant. The award will be used to deliver a unique education and training program designed to help alleviate some of the economic hardships as well as reverse mental health challenges created as a result of the pandemic.

In this program, Rawhide will train the trainers at FVTC and Goodwill to use a trauma-informed approach to education and services. 

  • FVTC will provide education—with a turnaround of one year or less—to a viable career path.
  • Rawhide will embed a personal navigator to help students inside of class/work and provide case management and relationship support outside of class/work to assure individual success.
  • Goodwill will provide comprehensive employment case management and on-the-job support for trainees during their education and employment. This will include coordinating wrap-around support to remove barriers including referrals to childcare and transportation resources.

“Across our region, we are talking with employers who need a skilled workforce to help make their businesses successful and their communities strong,” said Dr. Chris Matheny, president of Fox Valley Technical College. “These programs will help identify and connect high-potential individuals with employers through job skills training and holistic support. We couldn’t be more excited about this opportunity to serve the individuals and organizations in our region through this partnership.”

The program expects to welcome its first cohort of students in January 2023. It will offer individuals training and certification in such areas as industrial maintenance technician, wood manufacturing/cabinet maker, welding fundamentals, plumbing, early childhood teacher’s aide, nursing assistant, truck driving, and mechanic–vehicle manufacturing.

“Trauma and mental health can be significant barriers to both education and employment. Studies have shown the COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated trauma and mental health conditions,” said Dr. Jennifer Lanter, vice president for learning and chief academic officer at FVTC. “In reviewing workforce development data, we are unaware of any program using a trauma-informed approach to education and employment pathways in our region. We know this grant is a unique opportunity for our community.”

The program intends to serve around 450 individuals through the 2024 calendar year.