MADISON (WKOW) — Governor Tony Evers announced Thursday more than $6.6 million will be used to support youth apprenticeship opportunities, job training and upskilling in advanced manufacturing, and scholarships for students pursuing careers in education.
This is the second round of the Workforce Innovation Grant Program, which supports projects across 12 counties in southwestern and central Wisconsin. The grants will be awarded to Southwest Wisconsin Technical College, Wisconsin Heights School District and Boys & Girls Club of Dane County.
“We’re working to ensure we have more apprenticeship opportunities and jobs and skills training across our state,” Gov. Evers said. “From youth apprenticeships in the trades to upskilling for advanced manufacturing jobs to supporting our own homegrown talent so they can come back and teach our kids, today’s investments will help young people connect with local career opportunities and ensure we’re growing Wisconsin’s workforce for the future. With these investments, we’re also helping to make sure folks who are already in our manufacturing workforce will be able to increase their skills and knowledge — and their wages — to support their families and career goals. These projects are a win-win-win for the greater region, and we’re glad to be awarding these funds today.”
The distribution of grants is as follows:
Southwest Wisconsin Technical College | up to ~$2.9 Million | Serves Crawford, Grant, Iowa, Lafayette and Richland counties
Southwest Wisconsin Technical College will use the grant funds for their Advance Southwest Wisconsin initiative.
This project will help businesses train more than 500 employees, hire more than 300 and promote dozens of workers over the course of three years.
The Advance Southwest Wisconsin initiative includes providing custom on-site upskill trainings, which will include a new manufacturing and STEM youth apprenticeship program to bridge the college’s technical programs with the University of Wisconsin-Platteville’s engineering programs. It will also offer help the most at-risk employees overcome barriers through individualized instruction, childcare services and transportation.
Wisconsin Heights School District | up to ~$264,000 | Serves Columbia, Dane, Sauk, Jefferson and Iowa counties
The Wisconsin Heights School District will be using the funds to support their Grow Our Own (GROW) initiative, which uses scholarships to support current high school students who plan to pursue careers in education and GROW alumni pursuing education.
Scholarship recipients will agree to be interviewed at one of the GROW districts in return, and if hired, they will commit to teaching for three years in a GROW district. Additional goals of the program include offering high school students 12 credits of Early College Credit classes in education combined with mentorship.
Boys & Girls Club of Dane County | up to ~$3.5 Million | Serves Dane and Walworth counties
The Boys & Girls Club of Dane County will use the grant funds for the Careerforce Build Up! Program.
The program will engage young people who are involved in the organization’s youth development programs to prepare them for apprenticeships and build a pipeline of talent. Through a partnership with the McKenzie Regional Workforce Center, youth will receive training and support to pursue careers in plumbing, electrical, carpentry and HVAC, as well as entrepreneurial classes.