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Screen Shot 2014-02-24 at 9.01.25 PMRacine, Kenosha and Walworth county businesses looking to beef up their worker training programs can apply for grants through the Southeastern Wisconsin Workforce Development Board and the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development Job Service.

The two workforce development organizations will host a regional employer information session about the Wisconsin Fast Forward grants from 7:30 to 9 a.m. Thursday at the IMET Center, 2320 Renaissance Blvd. in Sturtevant.

Shelly Harkins, from the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development’s Office of Skills Development, will talk about how the grants work and how companies can apply for them.

“The Wisconsin Fast Forward worker training program is an innovative program that will help connect employers with skilled workers,” said Racine County executive Jim Ladwig.

Up to $7.5 million in grants is available to businesses wanting to support the training programs, which can be for a single business, a consortium of businesses or a business/ businesses in partnership. The newly created Office of Skills Development will administer the program. Applications are available at,

Grants are available in the following categories:

  • Manufacturing Occupations, $1 million, due April 1
  • Construction Trades and Related Occupations, $500,000, due April 1
  • Financial Services Occupations, $1 million due April 3
  • Transportation, Logistics and Distribution Occupations, $1 million, due April 3
  • Information Technology Occupations, $1.5 million, due April 8
  • Small Businesses with 50 or fewer employees, $500,000, due April 10
  • Health Care and Related Occupations, $2 million, due April 10

To register for this no cost event contact Rebecca Freund at (262) 697-4587 or

Denise Lockwood has an extensive background in traditional and non-traditional media. She has written for, the Milwaukee Business Journal, Milwaukee Magazine and the Kenosha News.