West Central Works Uses Grant Funds to Benefit Workers & Businesses
If you live in West Central Wisconsin or operate a business here, you probably qualify for help from West Central Works. We have a variety of programs designed to help workers receive training and reach their full potential. Businesses benefit from these programs, in addition to individuals. These programs are made possible by state and federal grant funds, so they are offered at either no cost or lower cost, thanks to available subsidies.
Determining which grants you qualify for can be complicated. That’s why we recommend reaching out to our team to discuss your challenge. Once we understand the situation, we can offer solutions that best fit your needs.
An Introduction to the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA)
We participate in the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA), a combination of four different Title and multiple partner programs. These programs include Vocational Rehabilitation, Job Service, Adult Basic Ed or GED partners, Veterans Employment, TAA, and the Adult, Dislocated Worker and Youth Programs. These programs work together.
One of the visions of WIOA is to connect our clients to the right program, with the right services, at the right time. Knowing who and what programs are a part of WIOA is key to making these connections.
An Introduction to WIOA was created to help community partners become more familiar with WIOA as a whole and each WIOA program individually, so we can better help our clients find their path to success. This training is for all WIOA partners and staff, both new and experienced. Visit the Knowledge Center on the WIOA website to view An Introduction to WIOA.
The WIOA Integrated Service Delivery Communications Team created the below training. Visit WIOA.Wisconsin.gov to learn more about the 2020-2023 WIOA State Plan and new partners and find other WIOA resources.Learn More
Are you interested in developing skills in healthcare? We can help you get the training and financial assistance you need. The Collaboration of Wisconsin Rural Investment in Community Healthcare (COW RICH) grant aims to upskill individuals who are interested in specific healthcare fields to get them the training they need. As part of the grant, individuals must intend to work in rural counties due to the large labor shortages in these areas. Individuals do not need to go to school or live in these counties currently. They only need to intend to work in them after graduation. There are no income eligibility requirements.Learn More
The Chippewa Valley Correctional Treatment Facility (CVCTF) is dedicated to the development, implementation, and subsequent modification of a treatment program that will effectively and efficiently address the needs of offenders in the area of substance abuse and related issues, preparing them for reintegration to their respective communities.Learn More
The Wisconsin Regional Career Pathways (RCP) approach is a statewide effort to deliver high-quality career pathways in high schools that reflect the needs and vision of a regional collaborative group of employers, education, and economic and workforce development.
The regional collaboratives adopt, implement, promote, and monitor high school career pathways in high-skill, in-demand industry sectors. They act as an advisory group, on behalf of regional districts, to identify and overcome barriers that prevent students in the region from accessing the pathway. An example of such a barrier may include college curriculum that is not aligned with the career pathway. In addition, the collaborative provides the means necessary for students to participate and complete a pathway by:
- Taking a sequence of aligned courses,
- Earning an industry-recognized credential,
- Enrolling in dual college credit classes,
- Participating in career-based and work-based learning experiences, and
- Accessing related Career and Technical Education (CTE) student organizations
The U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration has awarded the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development (DWD) $5 million under the Support to Communities: Fostering Opioid Recovery Through Workforce Development Partnership Grant to provide training, career services, and supportive services to individuals impacted by the opioid crisis.Learn More
The Worker Advancement Initiative serves people whose jobs have not come back since the pandemic, as well as those who were not attached to or were not successful in the labor market prior to the pandemic, by offering subsidized employment and skills training opportunities with local employers. The program builds on the success of current transitional job programs in the state by launching a new, statewide effort to provide subsidized work opportunities to approximately 2,000 individuals.
Funds were awarded to each of Wisconsin's 11 workforce development boards, effective October 1, 2021, to operate a variety of projects. These projects are outlined in the Governor's Workforce Advancement Initiative press release.
Windows to Work is a program designed to help inmates at the Oakhill Correctional Facility and Fox Lake Correctional Institution who are about to be released into the South Central Wisconsin workforce development area search for and secure employment to ensure successful reintegration into the community after release.
The program seeks to reduce recidivism in the counties of Columbia, Dane, Dodge, Jefferson, Marquette and Sauk. The objectives are to provide individual case management for each inmate or parolee with the goal of increasing employability skills and employment opportunities to reduce the risk of reoffending and create safer communities in South Central Wisconsin.
The program begins working with inmates six months prior to their release and offers education and training in the following areas:
- Problem solving skills
- Financial literacy
- Criminal and addictive behavior
- Interpersonal relationships
- Application and resume completion
- General work skills and expectations
- Job seeking and attainment skills
- Interview preparation
Follow-up work continues for a minimum of one year after release to ensure long-term success and lower the risk of reoffending. This voluntary program seeks to aid participants who are within six months of release, have shown a commitment to education and are regarded as being at high risk of reoffending, with priority given to candidates who are between 18-30 years old, have children and/or have completed a GED/HSED.
Windows to Work is funded by the State of Wisconsin Department of Corrections via the Becky Young Recidivism Reduction Appropriation.Learn More
The objective of the Wisconsin Fast Forward (WFF) standard grant program is to award funds to businesses from all Wisconsin industry sectors that reimburse the costs of customized occupational training for unemployed, underemployed, and incumbent workers. The customized, business-driven training will qualify workers for full-time employment, higher level employment, or increased wages.Learn More
The Worker Advancement Initiative serves people whose jobs have not come back since the pandemic, as well as those who were not attached to or were not successful in the labor market prior to the pandemic, by offering subsidized employment and skills training opportunities with local employers. The program builds on the success of current transitional job programs in the state by launching a new, statewide effort to provide subsidized work opportunities to approximately 2,000 individuals.Learn More
The goal of the Workforce Innovation Grant Program is to help the regions of Wisconsin solve their most pressing workforce challenges by financially supporting collaborative, sustainable and innovative pandemic-recovery plans developed by regional organizations.
The Workforce Innovation Grant Program is a collaboration between the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) and the Department of Workforce Development (DWD). The program provides up to $10 million grants to regional organizations to design and implement innovative plans that help solve the workforce challenges the COVID-19 pandemic has caused in their regions. This program encourages the development of leading-edge, long-term solutions that enable businesses to more easily find workers and empower those workers to more successfully prepare for and connect to the family-supporting careers in their regions.
Governmental entities, non-profits and tribal governments are eligible to apply for the grants. Approximately $40.5 million is available in Round 2. Applications for Round 2 opened on February 22, 2022 and closed on April 18, 2022. Award announcements will be made in Summer 2022. Round 1 awards totaling up to $59.5 million were announced in December for 12 recipients. Read more about the projects funded by the first round of grants.
Applications must address a region’s most pressing pandemic-related workforce challenge and offer an innovative solution specific to the region’s need. These may include, but are not limited to:
- Training and/or reskilling initiatives for in-demand jobs
- Career counseling or coaching services
- Access to transit or broadband solutions
- Childcare solutions or supportive services
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 northeast, south, 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 southeast Wisconsin; and enable incarcerated individuals to earn undergraduate degrees from the University of Wisconsin.
The Workforce Innovation Grant Program rewards creativity, promote sustainable regional collaboration and fosters local accountability and participation to address the regional workforce challenges resulting from the pandemic’s extended period of labor disruption.Learn More