State Grant Targets Skilled Worker Shortage

Lt. Governor Rebecca Kleefisch

State Grant Targets Skilled Worker Shortage

| By: Britten, Casey

Lt. Governor Rebecca Kleefisch and Department of Workforce Development Secretary Reggie Newson visited Fox Valley Technical College on Wednesday, July 23 to commemorate an award of $3.6 million to the college through a Blueprint for Prosperity Fast Forward grant. 

The FVTC initiative, which is part of a statewide effort involving Wisconsin’s technical colleges, will focus on training more than 850 workers to address critical gaps in the regional economy.

News coverage:

Post-Crescent: FVTC receives state jobs grant to expand classes

(Issued by the State of Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development, July 23, 2014)

Blueprint for Prosperity: Lt. Governor Kleefisch Announces $3.6 Million Grant to Train Over 850 Workers at Fox Valley Technical College

Wisconsin Fast Forward grants are awarded as part of Governor's Blueprint for Prosperity Initiative

APPLETON – Lt. Governor Rebecca Kleefisch today announced the award of over $3.6 million in Wisconsin Fast Forward grant dollars to Fox Valley Technical College (FVTC) to train up to 856 workers for in-demand fields. The award is part of $28 million in grants that Governor Walker recently announced as part of his Blueprint for Prosperity initiative to help Wisconsin technical college train over 4,900 workers for jobs that employers need to fill.

"The investments we are making in Fox Valley Technical College under Governor Walker's leadership will enhance opportunities for working families in the Fox Valley region and help employers find the workers they need," Lt. Governor Kleefisch said. "It is through investments like these that Wisconsin will address the skills gap today and in the years to come."

The Department of Workforce Development (DWD) will administer the grants, which will add capacity to 100 programs at all 16 technical colleges and accommodate up to 4,908 additional students in training programs. Training programs cover key industry sectors such as manufacturing, health care, transportation, construction and architecture, and education.

During a visit to the FVTC campus, Lt. Governor Kleefisch announced DWD's intent to award the technical college $3,602,392 to train 856 additional workers in the following high-demand areas:

• $811,125 to train 168 workers in Transportation: Professional Truck Driving
• $168,000 to train 40 workers in Health Care: Personal Care Worker Certificate
• $183,919 to train 32 workers in Advanced Manufacturing: Production Welding
• $134,400 to train 16 workers in Advanced Manufacturing: Automation Technology
• $38,278 to train 12 workers in Logistics: Operations Specialist Certificate
• $47,250 to train 30 workers in Health Care: Certified Phlebotomist
• $34,965 to train 32 workers in Transportation: Automotive Collision Repair
• $33,621 to train 32 workers in Transportation: Automotive Technology
• $191,625 to train 8 workers in Health Care: Registered Nurse (LPN to AND pathway)
• $247,800 to train 32 workers in Advanced Manufacturing: Machine Tool Technician
• $13,125 to train 24 workers in Business Services: IT Boot Camps
• $45,450 to train 36 workers in Modernized Agriculture: Precision Agriculture
• $844,200 to train 64 workers in Transportation: Diesel Technician
• $248,850 to train 18 workers in Health Care: Licensed Practical Nursing (CNA to LPN pathway)
• $190,890 to train 120 workers in Health Care: Certified Nursing Assistant
• $168,000 to train 30 workers in Business Services: Office Assistant
• $23,654 to train 32 workers in Advanced Manufacturing: Metallurgy Certificate
• $122,850 to train 30 workers in Business Services: Customer Service/Sales Certificate
• $54,390 to train 100 workers in Health Care: Certification Course for medical Assistant (incumbent workers)

“We are very pleased to accept the Blueprint for Prosperity grant funding for this wide range of projects that will focus on developing more people with the technical skills needed in our regional economy," said FVTC President Dr. Susan May. "Fox Valley Technical College works diligently to expand its training capacity as needed and will apply these welcomed resources in addressing industry needs in several high demand fields.”

Governor Walker signed 2013 Act 139 into law in March 2014 as part of his Blueprint for Prosperity initiative following the strong bipartisan support of the state Legislature. The legislation allocated an additional $35.4 million in funds to the Wisconsin Fast Forward worker training program with a focus on three areas:

• Reduction of waits lists at Wisconsin technical colleges for high-demand fields.
• Collaborative projects between high schools, technical colleges, businesses, and other partners to increase opportunities for high school pupils to earn industry-recognized credentials.
• Enhancing the employment opportunities for workers with disabilities.

Technical colleges submitted initial lists of programs for grant consideration earlier this year. DWD developed objective, data-driven measurement tools to validate wait lists for grant eligibility purposes, evaluate each technical college's funding request, make award decisions, and include accountability measures to protect taxpayers' investment.