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Governor Walker Attends Governor's Council on Workforce Investment 2017 First Quarter Meeting

Wednesday, March 8, 2017 - Press Release

Madison – Governor Scott Walker met with members of the Governor’s Council on Workforce Investment (CWI) today to discuss workforce development in Wisconsin, including items in the governor’s 2017-2019 budget proposal.

“More people were employed last year in Wisconsin than at any point in our state’s history,” Governor Walker said. “There’s still a lot of work to be done, however, and we won’t stop until everyone who wants a job can find a job. One of the best ways we can accomplish this goal is by equipping our citizens with the practical skills they need to succeed in high-demand jobs. Our budget proposal invests in programs that provide our students with the hands-on skills necessary to thrive in their career of choice.”

CWI advises Governor Walker and the Department of Workforce Development (DWD) on the allocation of federal workforce development funding. The Council approves the annual Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act plan required of all states in coordination with Wisconsin’s 11 independent workforce development boards. CWI also aids Wisconsin employers in finding the workers they need and provide resources to enable workers to access training for in-demand careers with the ultimate goal of moving Wisconsin’s economy forward.

Governor Walker’s 2017-2019 budget proposal increases funding for Wisconsin’s primary workforce development program, Wisconsin Fast Forward, by $12.6 million over the biennium. This represents a 47 percent increase and includes a number of additional initiatives supporting workforce development in Wisconsin, including:

  • Education Workforce Development – Creates a new Teacher Development Program, which supports collaborations between schools of education and school districts to provide intensive curriculum and classroom training for certain school employees to earn a teaching license.
  • Dual Enrollment – Allows Wisconsin Fast Forward to support dual enrollment programs with Technical Colleges and local businesses to help students earn college and high school credit while being paid for their work by local businesses.
  • Healthcare Workforce Initiative – Provides $1.5 million in fiscal year 2017-2018 through Wisconsin Fast Forward to provide grants to community-based organizations for public-private partnerships to create and implement nursing training programs for middle and high school students.
  • Summer Jobs – Includes programs to help students obtain summer jobs in Wisconsin Fast Forward, allowing a competitive expansion of the program.
  • Internships – Allows Wisconsin Fast Forward to support internship programs so more students have the opportunity to gain initial workforce experiences.
  • Apprenticeships – Allows Wisconsin Fast Forward funding to be used for registered apprenticeship programs, youth apprenticeship programs, and Apprenticeship Completion Awards, which reward individuals for completing apprenticeship training.
  • Partnerships Between Businesses and Technical Colleges – Provides $5 million in training grants, distributed through the Wisconsin Fast Forward program, for technical colleges to partner with local businesses to train individuals in high-demand fields.
  • Job Training in Correctional Institutions – Increase investments in job-training in correctional institutions by:
    • Expanding the Windows-to-Windows Program and Vocational Training Programs by $1 million in General Purpose Revenue (GPR) annually so offenders have the skills needed for employment upon reentry to society
    • Including $1 million in GPR in fiscal year 2017-2018 and $50,000 in GPR annually through Wisconsin Fast Forward to expand the mobile classroom program and provide job skills training for inmates at correctional facilities who are preparing for reentry into the workforce.
    • Creating an apprenticeship coordinator position within DWD to expand apprenticeship opportunities for inmates in correctional facilities.

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