Gov. Tony Evers today, together with Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) Secretary and CEO Missy Hughes and Department of Workforce Development (DWD) Secretary-designee Amy Pechacek, announced 12 regional projects aimed at developing long-term solutions to Wisconsin’s workforce challenges. Gov. Evers directed $100 million to invest in the Workforce Innovation Grant program announced earlier this year. The projects announced today will receive up to $59.5 million in grants through the first round of the Workforce Innovation Grant Program.
Among the projects funded in the first round of grants are public-private partnerships to train and attract healthcare workers throughout rural Wisconsin; develop next-generation advanced manufacturing employees in west-central and southeast Wisconsin; expand affordable, high-quality childcare in Door County, Green County, and south-central Wisconsin; create pipelines of young, educated workers in Milwaukee; train construction and skilled craft workers throughout the state; foster a culture of entrepreneurship in Kenosha; and enable incarcerated individuals to earn undergraduate degrees from the University of Wisconsin.
“Wisconsin has one of the lowest unemployment rates in the country and we have high labor participation, but our state faces long-standing workforce challenges that existed for years before the pandemic,” said Gov. Evers. “There is no one-size-fits-all solution to addressing the workforce challenges across our state, so these funds are critically important to encourage regions and communities to develop cutting-edge, long-term solutions to the unique workforce challenges they face. These investments will make a big difference for our workers, families, and communities and the long-term success of our state.”