MADISON — Madison College has received a $5 million grant to train nearly 1,000 workers in high-demand professions such as machine tooling, certified nursing assistants, welding, industrial maintenance, and metal processes and repair.
The award is part of $28 million in statewide grants that Governor Scott Walker recently announced as part of his Wisconsin Fast Forward initiative to help Wisconsin’s technical colleges train more than 4,900 workers for high-demand jobs.
“Wisconsin is known for its skilled, dependable workforce, which is a major factor in a business’ decision to either expand in or move to Wisconsin,” Governor Walker said. “The Wisconsin Fast Forward program makes targeted investments in worker training, which will strengthen the workforce and ensure we have workers to fill the jobs of today and tomorrow.”
The focus on preparing Madison-area workers for high-demand jobs will be critical to lowering unemployment, including minority unemployment, in south central Wisconsin and elsewhere in the state.
Workers who are interested in enrolling in the Madison College training programs may visit www.madisoncollege.edu/apply-nowregister or call 608-246-6210 or 800-322 6282 (ext. 6210).
Blueprint for Prosperity
Governor Walker in January announced his Blueprint for Prosperity, a comprehensive agenda to provide tax relief and invest in worker training to move Wisconsin along a path to prosperity. The plan includes $35.4 million to expand the Wisconsin Fast Forward worker training program into three key areas:
• Reduction of waits lists at Wisconsin technical colleges for high-demand fields.
• Collaborative projects among high schools, technical colleges, businesses, and other partners to increase opportunities for high school students to earn industry-recognized credentials.
• Enhancing the employment opportunities for workers with disabilities.
Earlier this year, the Governor announced $2.1 million in Wisconsin Fast Forward funding for school-to-work programs across Wisconsin, including three based in the Madison area:
• $60,287 to the UW Hospital and Clinics Authority for their Pharmacy Technician Training Program project to train 10 high school students as pharmacy technicians in partnership with Madison College, six school districts and three local businesses. Successful trainees will receive Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB) and ASHP Pharmacy Technician Training Program certification and a Department of Workforce Development Youth Apprenticeship – Certificate of Occupational Proficiency. Students who successfully complete the program will be provided placement opportunities at UW Health and other local businesses.
• $80,800 to CESA 2 for its “Construction” project to train 100 high school students in plumbing, HVAC, and carpentry in partnership with the Associated Builders and Contractors, Associated General Contractors, Madison College, nine local high schools and three employers for placement opportunities. Successful trainees will gain certification in National Center for Construction in Education and Research (NCCER) CORE certificate, OSHA 10, American Heart Association First Aid and CPR certificate and a Department of Workforce Development Construction Certification of Occupational Proficiency.
• $150,000 to the South Central Wisconsin Workforce Development Board in Madison for its Middle College for Manufacturing and Health Care project to train up to 160 high school students in manufacturing or healthcare administration in partnership with 15 school districts, Madison College and Moraine Park Technical College. Successful trainees will gain certification in Manufacturing Essentials or Medical Office Assistant along with technical college credits from Moraine Park Technical College or Madison College. Students who successfully complete the program will be provided opportunities for placement at 15 local businesses for summer or longer-term employment.
In June, Department of Workforce Development Secretary Reggie Newson announced that DWD is accepting grant applications from businesses to train workers with disabilities. Up to $1 million in Wisconsin Fast Forward funds will be available for innovative workforce solutions to train workers with disabilities. The deadline for applications is September 16, 2014. The investment is also part of Governor Walker’s A Better Bottom Line initiative to encourage more employers to hire persons with disabilities.