Siren––SOFTEC Education, Inc was awarded a Wisconsin Fast Forward (WFF) Industry Sectors Worker Training grant for $108,200 by the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development (DWD). The grant will be used to train up to twelve trainees in the area of Heavy Equipment Operator Training utilizing COVID -19 practices.

Businesses and organizations across Wisconsin are getting more than $1.65 million in grants from the Department of Workforce Development (DWD). The grants are part of DWD’s Wisconsin Fast Forward initiative that provides targeted funds to support worker training, education, and recruitment.

We are excited to get started on March 12, 2021, with our next SOFTEC Training Opportunity for participants of Burnett, Polk, Douglas, Washburn, and Barron Counties of NW Wisconsin. This generous grant by DWD coupled with our Sundance Family Foundation match Grant of $54,100.00 will allow 12 candidates to enter the workplace with an Industry Recognized Certificate in just six weeks with our proven customized, accelerated skills training model. Our first training cohort of four, is moving forward with a young woman from Shell Lake, two young men, recent Luck High School Graduates and one young man from Grantsburg.

This great opportunity provided by DWD in collaboration with the Sundance Family Foundation match grant, offers a local six week credentialed employment pathway for any WI resident 18 years and older, who can pass a drug screen and have the physical abilities to lift 50# and stand for extended hours. We welcome diversity in our training program and our collaborating network of Industry/Business partners have expressed the need for new employees in the 1st and 2nd quarter of 2021. Please call for information, as we still have a few possible openings for the next two upcoming (teams of four) training opportunities this Spring. We look forward to hearing from you and “Organically Growing our Workforce!”

In total, 13 grants were awarded to organizations and businesses representing a variety of industries, from agriculture to information technology. Wisconsin Fast Forward encourages statewide economic growth by helping employers across the state train workers and fill positions to meet critical needs for a skilled workforce.

“In addition to serving employers, these Industry Sector Worker Training Grants offer a path to well-paying jobs for unemployed workers and higher wages and more opportunities for growth for current employees,” said DWD Secretary-designee Amy Pechacek.

Wisconsin Fast Forward connects employers with local or regional economic development organizations, workforce development boards, post-secondary institutions, nonprofit organizations, and private training providers. The program aims to enhance equity and economic opportunity across the state by giving preference to projects that recruit socially and economically disadvantaged individuals, including veterans, people with disabilities, Black, Indigenous, and People of Color, people with lower incomes, and ex-offenders.

An additional $10 million in funding for Wisconsin Fast Forward is part of Gov. Tony Evers’ Badger Bounceback agenda, which was unveiled last week in his biennial budget. The additional money will support training for individuals, businesses, and organizations affected by the pandemic.

“These additional dollars will allow DWD to continue to fund effective training for those out of work and those looking to advance in their industry by providing new, transferable skills for the unemployed and employed alike,” Secretary-designee Pechacek said.

For more information and learn about the next round of WFF grants, please visit