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Bill Targets Unfilled Jobs With Technical College Grants

Democratic Sponsor Says Approach Could Fill Vacancies Quickly

wistechcolleges (CC-BY-NC-ND)

A new Democratic bill creating technical college grants aims to help fill high priority job openings in Wisconsin.

Under the proposal, the Wisconsin Technical College System could distribute $49 million in grants over the next two years to its colleges. Most of the funding would go towards training programs that partner with local businesses to address immediate job needs and skills gaps.

The bill’s sponsor, state Rep. Steve Doyle of Onalaska, said there’s an urgent need for welders and nurses. He said this legislation could put hundreds of people to work in a short period of time.

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“So this isn’t one where we’re saying we’re going to create new jobs. What we’re saying with this is we’re going to fill existing jobs. We know they’re there and if we can figure out a way to have our employees job ready, it is an economic growth situation,” Doyle said.

The bill would also fund grants for veterans, high school students taking technical college classes, and entrepreneurial innovation in the classroom.