Wisconsin Fast Forward issuing $99K grant to Milwaukee Center for Independence

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MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- Governor Scott Walker delivered remarks at an event highlighting the Wisconsin Fast Forward grant of $99,125 to the Milwaukee Center for Independence on Thursday, December 11th.  This grant is intended to help train workers with disabilities and is a part of Governor Walker’s year of A Better Bottom Line initiative.

“This year, one of our focuses has been investing in worker training,” Governor Walker said.  “A portion of these investments have been aimed at promoting employment of those with disabilities, as a party of our year of A Better Bottom Line initiative.  The Milwaukee Center for Independence is an excellent recipient of this grant, as its programs for children and adults with special needs is designed to support and assist them in becoming as independent as possible.”

This $99,125 Wisconsin Fast Forward grant will be utilized to train approximately 50 people who are currently facing obstacles to work to be qualified Certified Nursing Assistants (CNAs).  10 of these approximately 50 participants will receive additional training as Community-Based Residential Facility (CBRF) workers, allowing them to work with people who are recovering from mental illness.  The Milwaukee Center for Independence will hire the 40 CNAs and 10 CNA/CBRF mental health workers at the completion of their training.

Catering to the needs of all ages, the Milwaukee Center for Independence (MCFI) is nationally recognized in offering services that develop and train an individual for the workforce, and then match that individual and his or her skillset to the needs of employers.  Impacting the lives of 17,000 participants and families every year, MCFI has established over 50 programs and services to benefit diverse needs, including children’s programs, employment services, nutrition services, brain injury recovery, long-term care, and behavioral health.

Governor Walker’s Blueprint for Prosperity initiative allocated $35.4 million in additional funds for the Wisconsin Fast Forward worker program, which was approved by the Wisconsin legislature in March with a bipartisan majority.  These funds are directed to reducing waiting lists for admission to courses of high-demand fields at technical colleges, encouraging collaborative projects between high schools, technical colleges, businesses, and others in order to increase opportunities for industry-recognized certifications for high school students, and programs that support Governor Walker’s Year of A Better Bottom Line initiative.  Additionally, a portion of Wisconsin Fast Forward – Blueprint for Prosperity funds will be directed towards expanding the existing Project SEARCH program.

2014 – Year of A Better Bottom Line:

  • Governor Walker proclaimed 2014 as the Year of A Better Bottom Line to encourage and promote employment opportunities for people with disabilities.  A Better Bottom Line is tailored after Delaware Governor Jack Markell’s initiative with the National Governor’s Association, which details the vast benefits for employers, employees, and communities.
  • During the Year of A Better Bottom Line, Governor Walker is directing state agencies to focus on recognizing and promoting public and private programs, companies, and organizations that are improving employment opportunities for people with disabilities, including veterans and students.
  • Priorities for the Year of A Better Bottom Line include overcoming barriers to employment for people with disabilities, which may include: transportation issues, employer participation, adaptable workplace challenges, costs relating to the launch of opportunities within a company, retention, and general awareness and knowledge of advantages.
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