Operation Fresh Start receives $3.3 million dollar grant, aimed at helping local workforce shortage

MADISON, Wis. — Governor Tony Evers announced Tuesday nearly $60 million worth of grant money that will go toward workforce development projects.

More than $3 million of that — $3.3 million — was given to Operation Fresh Start, which operates as a work development program in Madison.

Greg Markle, the organization’s executive director, said he is beyond excited to have an opportunity to create change in the community. 

“It’s just wonderful news. It’s wonderful news for Dane County, for our community and most importantly for the people that want to achieve self-sufficiency,” Markle said.

Operation Fresh Start will now begin a three-year program called the Build Academy focused on attracting and training the next generation of trades employees in areas such as construction and conservation.

“Young people who might not have known where they were going and struggling, unemployed, disconnected. It’s the connection and the training and the connection to have them be successful,” Markle said.

Markle can’t speak to the success of this entire grant program but is confident the Build Academy will bring positive change to the workforce shortage in Dane County.

“Our goal is to build a program that can sustain beyond the three years of the grant. A program that can continue to change the face of these industries,” he said.