Wednesday – February 26, 2020

Contact: Kathy Cullen, WTCS, 

Wisconsin’s Technical Colleges Receive $14.9 Million Federal Workforce Training Grant

MADISON – Wisconsin’s skilled workforce will benefit from $14.9 million federal grant awarded to the state's 16 technical colleges. The award is for the four-year "Making the Future" project to develop, expand and improve advanced manufacturing career pathways.

"This grant award is an example of the strength that comes from the 16 WTCS colleges working together to leverage new resources that will help our individual colleges focus on the best strategies to meet the specific local and regional needs of our business and industry partners," said Jeff Rafn, President of Northeast Wisconsin Technical College, which is serving as the consortium leader for the "Making the Future" project. 

"The award demonstrate federal recognition of Wisconsin’s leadership in successfully using innovative methods to improve the availability and quality of Wisconsin’s skilled workforce," said Wisconsin Technical College System (WTCS) Vice President for Teaching and Learning Kathleen Cullen. "By focusing on training Wisconsin workers for advanced manufacturing, we continue the long WTCS tradition as a major contributor to the growth of Wisconsin’s business climate. I want to personally thank the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development for its support in receiving the grant." 

"We are pleased to work with the technical colleges on this initiative," Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development (DWD) Secretary Reggie Newson said. "The manufacturing sector has seen the addition of thousands of good-paying, family-supporting jobs since Governor Walker took office, and we look forward to continued collaborations with the technical colleges, private-sector employers and other partners to address the skills gap and to grow Wisconsin's economy." 

The federal grant was awarded through the U.S. Department of Labor as part of the Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training grants and include rigorous outcome evaluation requirements. All education materials developed through the grants will be available for use by the public and other education providers. Additional information about the grant is available from the U.S. Department of Labor at