Evers announces $60 million in grants to help workforce development

EAU CLAIRE, Wis. – Gov. Tony Evers announced grants for 12 different projects Tuesday, totaling almost $60 million.

The projects will work to improve workforce development throughout the state.

“There is no one-size-fits-all solution to addressing the workforce challenges across our state,” Evers said in a statement Tuesday. “These funds are critically important to encourage regions and communities to develop cutting-edge, long-term solutions to the unique workforce challenges they face.”

The grants are funded with money that the state received through the federal American Rescue Plan Act.

“While we are facing statewide workforce challenges, individual employers and communities also have unique issues that require tailored solutions,” Department of Workforce Development Secretary-designee Amy Pechacek said. “These grants offer communities and employers the flexibility to respond to specific local workforce needs.”

Four local projects were funded Tuesday.

The Green County Family YMCA received $3.7 million, which will help build a 5,000 sq. ft. daycare and preschool wing as well as a 6,000 sq. ft. youth development wing.

Operation Fresh Start received $3.3 million, which will fund a program designed to solve problems in the trades employment workforce.

The program is called Build Academy and will job training and education programming to the next generation of construction and conservation workers.

Madison Area Technical College received $2.9 million to address pandemic-related workforce issues in childcare and training.

The Sauk Prairie School District received $2.4 million to help train students in manufacturing, agricultural science, and healthcare.

Tuesday’s projects are just the first in $100 million worth of investments.