Wisconsin Secretary Gassman Announces $89,179 Grow Grant to Train Bay Area Workers in Advanced Manufacturing


Green Bay, WI  (CompNewsNetwork) - As part of Wisconsin Governor Doyle’s $850,000 Emerging Industries Skills Partnership initiative, Department of Workforce Development (DWD) Secretary Roberta Gassman today announced a $89,179 grant to the Bay Area Workforce Development Board to coordinate advanced manufacturing, computer skills, and innovation training for 251 incumbent workers employed by companies in the Bay Area.

Governor Doyle made the Emerging Industries Skills Partnership part of his Grow Wisconsin – The Next Steps strategy for economic and workforce development. The grant that Secretary Gassman announced on his behalf will leverage more than $50,500 in combined resources from the Workforce Development Board, Northeast Wisconsin Technical College (NWTC) and Lakeshore Technical College (LTC), for a total of $139,693 in funding.

“In order for the Bay Area to maintain a competitive edge, we must focus on training incumbent workers in advanced manufacturing and computer skills to help them advance through the ranks to higher-wage, higher-skill positions,” Secretary Gassman said. “This new workforce training initiative will help workers and employers keep pace in the rapidly changing high-tech manufacturing sector.”

The grant is one of 10 being awarded under Governor Doyle’s Emerging Industries Skills Partnership initiative, a total of $850,000 to provide new and incumbent workers with the necessary skills to meet workforce demands in advanced manufacturing, biotechnology and renewable energy.

Bay Area Workforce Development Board Executive Director Jim Golembeski added, “This grant begins to address one of the vital areas of need for our companies – incumbent worker training. Our existing workforce must keep up with the pace of technological and process change, and we must ensure that every worker can maximize his or her productivity. Raising the productivity of our workforce is one of the best investments we can make.”

Secretary Gassman announced the grant at the NWTC Manufacturing Technology Center in Green Bay. Under the grant, NWTC will use the Center to pilot an industrial maintenance worker training program for 66 incumbent workers from three area companies: Coating Excellence International, Wrightstown; Georgia-Pacific, Green Bay; and DCI Cheese, Green Bay.

LTC will also pilot a training program for 185 incumbent workers at Orion Energy Systems, Manitowoc. Orion employees will be trained in computer and innovation skills necessary to work with advanced manufacturing techniques to assist in the creation of energy efficient lighting and control products. The Bay Area Workforce Development Board will coordinate training activities between NWTC, LTC and the participating employers.

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