Gov. Evers Announces Groundbreaking $130 Million Investment in Workforce Solutions
New workforce programs build on successes and incentivize new solutions to workforce challenges
GREEN BAY — Gov. Tony Evers today announced he is
Under Gov. Evers’ plans announced today, funds will be invested into Wisconsin’s workforce across three programs. The resources will support both connecting unemployed or underemployed workers with new opportunities while also incentivizing innovative solutions to regional workforce challenges that have been exacerbated by the pandemic. Programs announced today include:
- $100 million Workforce Innovation grant program to encourage regions and communities to develop leading-edge, long-term solutions to the workforce challenges the state faces in the wake of COVID-19;
- $20 million toward the Worker Advancement Initiative, which will offer subsidized employment and skills training opportunities with local employers to unemployed individuals; and
- $10 million for a Worker Connection Program which will provide workforce career coaches who will connect with individuals attempting to reengage in the workforce post-pandemic.
“These grants will support our communities in addressing the labor force challenges and workforce constraints exacerbated by the pandemic so that our entire state’s economy can bounce back even better than before,” Department of Workforce Development (DWD) Secretary-designee Amy Pechacek said. “Helping employers expand their candidate pools and tackling barriers to employment will make a significant and lasting impact on communities, which will offer Wisconsinites greater opportunities for generations to come.”
Missy Hughes, Secretary and CEO of the Wisconsin Economic
“A region could address childcare or transit issues—whatever they know as their top priority to respond to the continuing workforce impacts of COVID-19,” she said. “Another region might invest in and encourage apprenticeships, while another may develop strategies to attract or retain talent. The idea is to reward creativity, promote regional collaboration and foster local accountability and participation.”
WEDC, DWD, and the Department of Administration will combine forces and expertise to administer the Workforce Innovation
Gov. Evers also announced $20 million toward the Worker Advancement Initiative, which will offer subsidized employment and skills training opportunities with local employers to those whose previous employment has not come back post-pandemic, as well as those who were not attached to or were not successful in the labor market prior to the pandemic. The program builds on the success of current transitional jobs programs in the state by launching a new, statewide effort to provide subsidized work opportunities to around 2,000 individuals. DWD will administer the program through local workforce development boards in partnership with community-based organizations.
The governor will also invest $10 million in a robust Worker Connection Program that will offer individuals who are attempting to reengage in the workforce career coaches who will connect them with the information and support necessary to overcome any barriers that may prevent their full participation in the labor force. The program will also offer individuals local training opportunities that are focused on in demand sector and employer needs. Employers will ensure that the training meets their workforce needs and provide job opportunities to participants. Two regions of the state will be selected for the program.
The grants will be funded with federal American Rescue Plan Act dollars, which are available to support investments to address the ongoing negative economic impacts of COVID-19.
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