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Grants to Wisconsin Organizations, Agencies, and Tribal Governments for Professional Development Programs

Wisconsin Fast Forward (WFF) Grants - Industry Sectors Worker Training Grant


GrantWatch ID#

Funding Source
Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development (DWD)
Array ( )

Geographic Focus
USA: Wisconsin

Important Dates
Deadline: 11/28/23 3:00 PM CST Save

Grant Description
Grants to Wisconsin private organizations, public agencies, and tribal governments to develop and implement professional development programs. Funding is intended to promote long-term economic growth throughout the state. The goal of the grant program is to assist businesses from all Wisconsin industry sectors to reimburse the costs of customized occupational training for unemployed, underemployed, and incumbent workers. The customized, business-driven training will qualify workers for full-time employment, higher-level employment, wage increases, and/or industry-recognized credentials.

Wisconsin Fast Forward training programs are designed to provide sustainable, short- and medium-term training and to place workers in positions that offer trainees long-term professional growth and economic opportunity. This training will assist with adding new individuals into the workforce and increasing wage growth for the trainees. Growth in both areas will allow workers to have greater purchasing power, making them better able to support local businesses, invest in their communities, and create new and greater demand for goods and services. In turn, this will create new opportunities for businesses and entrepreneurs. This approach maintains a strong environment for private-sector job creation in Wisconsin through continued growth and expansion.

The long-term goal of the Wisconsin Fast Forward Industry Sectors Worker Training Grant program is to encourage statewide economic growth by assisting employers to train workers and fill positions, as well as to ensure meaningful economic advancement for trainees. This will be accomplished by partnering with employers, local or regional economic development organizations, workforce development boards, postsecondary institutions, nonprofit organizations, and private training providers. It is anticipated that the relationships developed through Wisconsin Fast Forward-funded training programs will continue to flourish after the grant has ended.

Successful grant applications will include customized training programs defined by employers and developed to meet special requirements of their industry (or the consortium of employers participating in the grant program). In addition, further preference will be given to training programs that provide training that leads to industry-recognized credentials or certifications. The OSD recommends that customized training programs focus on skills attainment and certifications. Skills attainment develops skills that directly benefit the workers receiving the training by increasing their mastery of their occupation in their field of employment and/or provide new skills for new product lines or business expansion.

Preference will be given to applicants that propose to train individuals who are vulnerable or belong to special populations, such as chronically unemployed individuals, economically disadvantaged individuals, including, but not limited to, W-2 and FSET recipients, justice-involved persons who have been the subject to any stage of the criminal justice process, Indigenous, people of color, people with disabilities, and veterans.

Required Outcomes and training program requirements can be found at

Eligible expenses can be found at


Additional Eligibility Criteria
Eligible applicants include the following:
- A public agency;
- A private organization;
- A consortium of placement partners with the lead public or private organization serving as the applicant.

Eligible applicants must be financially viable. Eligible applicants, except tribal governing bodies, must also be current on all federal and state tax obligations.

It is recommended that applicants represent a consortium that includes partners with similar talent development needs.The members of this consortium may include any of the following:
- An industry sector partner;
- A non-profit;
- A public training provider;
- A private training provider;
- A Tribal government or organization appointed by the Tribal governing body.
- A Wisconsin Workforce Development Board; and/or
- A Wisconsin Technical College.

Ineligible Expenses: Capital equipment expenses are not allowed under this GPA. Consistent with Wis. Admin. Code § DWD 801.09(2), Wisconsin Fast Forward funds may not be used for the purchase of real estate, facility construction or remodeling, traditional public or private kindergarten-12th grade education, trainee wages, stipends, or fringe benefits. Consistent with Wis. Admin. Code § DWD 801.07(3), grantees may not supplant existing employee wages and compensation.

Pre-Application Information
- Public notice of grant program announcement: September 19, 2023
- Deadline for receipt of applications – submit applications and supporting documentation by 3 p.m. CST using the WFF online grant application system: November 28, 2023
- Tentative notification of grantee selection: January 19, 2024
- Contract and effective date of award: January 26, 2024

Once a contract has been developed and formally executed, funds will be released on a cost-reimbursement basis.

Match: Cash or in-kind match equal to 50% of the amount of the grant award is required.

Employer Letters of Commitment to Hire: Signed letters of commitment on letterhead to hire or upskill trainees from the proposed training program are required from the proposed participating employers (employer placement partners).

View a recording of the Webinar:

Estimated Size of Grant
Grant awards range from $5,000 to $400,000 per grantee. A grantee serving as an applicant for a consortium of employment placement partners may apply for more than $400,000.

Term of Contract
Duration of Training Courses: Grants support projects comprised of one or more courses, each lasting no longer than 12 months.

Grant Period: The grant period is up to two years. This period begins no earlier than the date the grant contract is fully executed by all parties. All training activities must be completed during the grant period. These activities include curriculum development, training, pre- and post-training activities, wage increases, and match requirements.

Applicants who receive an award must be prepared to enter into a contract and begin training no later than 90 days from the date of the execution of the grant contract.

Contact Information
Apply online:

GPA and Proposal Process Questions & Answers: Any questions or clarifications related to this grant program announcement may be submitted in writing via email

Office of Skills Development
Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development
201 E. Washington Ave, G100
P.O. Box 7946
Madison, WI 53707-7946

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