Governor Doyle: Announces $10 Million in Worker Training & Economic Development Assistance

Ethnie Groves, Office of the Governor, 608-261-2156

$5 Million Will Target Areas of High Unemployment

Governor Jim Doyle announced today $10 million in worker
training and economic development assistance, including a $5 million worker
training initiative and a $5 million program to attract businesses to areas
of high unemployment.

“I’m pleased to unveil two proposals of my budget that will
provide economic development assistance to communities across our state,”
Governor Doyle said. “In the past year, we’ve created nearly 70,000 jobs in
Wisconsin and we’ve emerged as the national leader in creating new
manufacturing jobs. But some areas of our state are still struggling to
recover from tough economic times.”

The Governor announced that in his budget he will create a
new $5 million grant program to attract businesses to communities that
haven’t done as well. To qualify, an employer must create at least 100 jobs
that will pay at least 90 percent of new employees a family-supporting wage.
The employer must also make a good faith effort to fill at least 75 percent
of the new jobs with individuals living in that community. Eligible
businesses may receive grants for up to five years to help cover the costs
of worker training, employee transportation, on-site childcare, wages, and

“This initiative is based on a fundamental Wisconsin value:
that every person who is willing to work should have access to a job and the
means to support a family,” Governor Doyle said.

Although the vast majority of Governor Doyle’s “Grow
Wisconsin” Initiative was passed in the last legislative session, the
Governor said that the one thing that didn’t get finished was to pass a
real, meaningful worker training bill.

“To help workers and businesses become more competitive, in
my budget I will propose creating a new $5 million job training initiative,”
Governor Doyle said. “Through the Department of Commerce, we’ll pay the
training costs for businesses that create significant numbers of new jobs,
invest in new equipment, or provide higher wages.”

The Governor said that businesses must apply for the grant
with a training provider and businesses that have a technical college
provide the training will receive preference in funding by Commerce.

“Our technical colleges will play a key role in this
initiative,” Governor Doyle said. “As we move forward, our great technical
colleges will provide the training our workers need for Wisconsin to compete
at the high end.”