State-Funded Worker Training Program Could Launch Before End Of 2013


Wisconsin hopes to soon launch the Wisconsin Fast Forward initiative, a program that will help fill skilled jobs in the state.

The initiative is a $15 million worker training grant program that could be in effect by the end of this year. The state signed an agreement with the technical college system and the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation this week, pledging to work together to develop training to fill skilled jobs in Wisconsin.

Scott Jansen heads the Office of Skills Development, part of the Department of Workforce Development that will administer the program. He says they hope to launch the initiative in early fall and possibly receive applications for grants for training programs as soon as November.

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“We would love to have a training program or two that would be operational in the first quarter of 2015,” says Jansen. “That’s our goal.”

Jansen says this program is an experiment for Wisconsin because it is the first attempt to use state funds for worker training programs. The Wisconsin Fast Forward initiative will be available to all kinds of workers, from already-employed workers to underemployed to unemployed workers.

“Everybody is getting opportunity and access to these kinds of training programs to enhance their skillsets.

The initiative is part of $100 million in workforce investments over the current budget period.