Wisconsin will spend $20 million on a job training program with colleges and universities designed to prepare people for electronics manufacturing jobs and to address long-term workforce development needs.
Gov. Scott Walker announced the initiative, called Wisconsin Career Creator, on Wednesday at Milwaukee Area Technical College (MATC). Funding for the idea was part of legislation lawmakers approved last year to have Taiwan-based Foxconn Technology Group build an electronics factory in southeast Wisconsin.
But the initiative isn’t just for Foxconn-related jobs, but for technology careers across the state, Walker said.
“With a multitude of businesses expanding in Wisconsin and offering outstanding opportunities for our workforce, it’s crucial we help our workers get the skills they need to find rewarding, family-supporting careers,” he said. “To help meet our current and future workforce needs, we’re investing in programs such as dual-enrollment, scholarships for employees learning new skills and earning credentials, and job search and training resources for high-demand fields.”
The plan would provide:
- $5 million to expand dual-enrollment course offerings (one year of college in high school)
- $7 million for scholarships for employees or potential employees who need to upgrade their credentials to advance their careers
- $2 million to the Wisconsin Technical College System to maximize workforce participation by helping to recruit, retain and successfully credential some of the hardest-to-serve populations
- $6 million to the state workforce development department for innovative programs, including developing two advanced manufacturing sector centers, launching a middle school youth apprenticeship pilot program, preparing incarcerated individuals for the workforce, upskilling military veterans, and providing transportation to training and employment
“Apprenticeships, business partnerships, dual-enrollment opportunities, re-entry training, scholarships, and support for veterans are all critical to Milwaukee Area Technical College’s strategy to educate the students who will close the region’s skills gap,” said MATC President Vicki Martin at the announcement. “By increasing investments in these programs and in training for high-demand careers in advanced manufacturing and health care, the state will help us drive this important work forward.”
Funding will come from the next biennium budget.