Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Q: Can a state agency be a partner on a Wisconsin Fast Forward Application?
A: DWD policy or code does not prohibit a state agency or a state/federally funded program from being one of the partners on a Wisconsin Fast Forward grant application. For example, a section of DWD could be a partner on a Wisconsin Fast Forward application.
Q: Can funds from that agency serve as match on the application?
A: Wisconsin Fast Forward does not prohibit the use of state or federal funds as a match as long as the Wisconsin Fast Forward funds are not replacing other state funds and as long as the state/federal rules for those funds do not prohibit the use.
Q: What services will the Office of Skills Development (OSD) provide?
A: In addition to overseeing and administering worker training grants, OSD will support businesses in need of workforce training by referring them to the appropriate resources. OSD will also facilitate collaboration between employers, education providers, economic development organizations and workforce development boards to encourage workforce training innovation at the local and regional level.
Q: Can I still apply if our firm's NAICS code differs from the GPA?
A: Yes, if the skill set you are training would fall under the occupational area/career pathway listed in the Grant Program Announcement (GPA). For example, an employer with a NAICS classification of Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing and Hunting (NAICS = 11) could respond to a Grant Program Announcement for Manufacturing and Related occupations if the skills to be taught in the training program are manufacturing related skill sets such as the maintenance or operation of industrial or manufacturing machines. Questions regarding NAICS code designations, occupational areas, and career pathways may be referred to the Office of Skills Development.
Q: How can I have a member of the Office of Skills Development speak at my event?
A:Please contact the Office of Skills Development staff to discuss Wisconsin Fast Forward speaking opportunities. We are available to speak to gatherings of business members, economic development and chamber groups, conferences, etc. You may contact us through the Skills Inquiry form and while you are there, you may share with us your labor market challenges as well as sign up for our newsletter.
Q: What grants are available?
A: Current Grant Program Announcements (GPAs) that share the immediately available opportunities are always listed on the WisconsinFastForward.com website. New GPAs will be made available regularly (anticipated at least once a quarter) throughout the year. The Office of Skills Development will work with labor economists, labor market data, business inquiries, and sector needs to determine what GPA's to release when. To participate in this process, share your labor needs via the Skills Inquiry form.
Q: When will grants become available?
A: The Office of Skills Development (OSD) will regularly release new Grant Program Announcements (GPAs) throughout the year. GPA releases will be posted on the WisconsinFastForward.com website. You can also sign up for the OSD Newsletter to be notified of new releases as they become available. GPAs are released based on needs according to sectors or job classifications. If you don’t see GPAs that are appropriate to your business, please tell us of your need through the inquiry process.
Q: How will grants be awarded?
A: The Office of Skills Development will score all applications received in a competitive process. The specifics of the scoring will be available in the individual Grant Program Announcements (GPAs). Eligible applications will be reviewed by an Evaluation Committee who will forward their recommendations to the Department of Workforce Development leadership.
Q: How can I inquire to receive a grant?
A: The process can begin with a training program inquiry from an employer or business collaboration submitted to the OSD. The OSD staff will review all inquiries and convene education and workforce training partners as necessary to investigate potential training solutions, including existing programs that could address the defined need. The OSD will determine if additional information is required, if existing education or training programs are possible solutions for meeting the skill need or if a grant application is appropriate. Start a training program inquiry
Q: How much money do I have to match to receive a grant?
A: The “Wisconsin Fast Forward” legislation includes a provision that enables the Office of Skills Development (OSD) to require a matching contribution as a possible condition of receiving a grant. Depending on the Grant Program Announcement (GPA) you apply under, you will be required to provide cash or in-kind match of between 50 cents and $1 for each grant dollar you are awarded.
Q: What is the timeframe from grant application to start of training?
A: The purpose of the Wisconsin Fast Forward worker training grants is to provide nimble, flexible funding to help companies meet identified labor needs. The grant standards being developed are designed to ensure that employers and education providers are able to move quickly in recruiting, training, and hiring workers under this program. You will be notified whether or not you are receiving an award no more than 60 days after the application due date. If you successfully receive an award, you will be able to start spending money as soon as you agree to the terms and conditions of the award with the Department of Workforce Development.
Q: What reporting is required if I receive a grant?
A: OSD has reporting mechanisms that enable businesses and education providers to fulfill their contractual obligations. This includes reporting of expenditures to enable auditing of program costs and tracking of program participants to ensure outcomes are met. Reporting requirements will be clearly specified in the contract, and can be found on the WFF Grant Administration page at http://wisconsinfastforward.com/grant_administration.htm
Q: I am an unemployed worker, how can Wisconsin Fast Forward help me?
A: The Office of Skills Development is working with businesses, training providers, and other organizations, to increase your job training opportunities. However, we do not directly connect unemployed/underemployed workers with training opportunities at the WFF employers. Use the following link to connect to other Department of Workforce Development resources such as JobCenterOfWisconsin.com or go to the employers' website for job postings