To help put persons with disabilities to work: Gov. Walker announces $600K in worker training grants

MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- Governor Scott Walker has announced the intent to award more than $600,000 in worker training grants to help more than 200 persons with disabilities develop demand-driven skills to reach their employment goals. Four agencies in Milwaukee County will benefit from the grant money.

The grants are supported through Governor Walker's $35.4 million Wisconsin Fast Forward -- Blueprint for Prosperity initiative, which invests in worker training to move Wisconsin's working families along a path toward greater prosperity and independence.

"This year, we proclaimed the Year of A Better Bottom Line to encourage and promote employment opportunities for people with disabilities. Today, I am pleased to announce additional support to prepare more than 200 workers with disabilities for careers across Wisconsin. Not only will this help workers, but with their diverse strengths and skills, it will improve a company's bottom line and spur economic growth," Governor Walker said.

During his 2014 State of the State address, Governor Walker proposed a $35.4 million expansion of the Wisconsin Fast Forward (WFF) worker training program as part of his Blueprint for Prosperity. The additional funds will support efforts to reduce technical college wait lists in high-demand fields; grow collaborative projects among school districts, technical colleges, and businesses; and enhance employment opportunities for persons with disabilities.

Governor Walker's A Better Bottom Line is tailored after Delaware Governor Jack Markell’s initiative with the National Governor’s Association, which details the vast benefits for employers, employees, and communities.

Also, the state is expanding Project SEARCH, a program helping young people with disabilities transition from high school to the workplace.  An additional $850,000 in Blueprint for Prosperity funds will support the expansion of the number of participating businesses by 20, up from seven, over three years.

The Department of Workforce Development's Office of Skills Development is administering the grant program.

The worker training grant money will benefit the following agencies: