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March 22, 2012 at 11:20 AM EDT
Wisconsin Covenant Foundation Now Accepting Applications for Wisconsin Workforce Partnership Grant
State's Technical Colleges, Advanced Manufacturing Employers Encouraged to Apply

MADISON, WI -- (Marketwire) -- 03/22/12 -- The Wisconsin Covenant Foundation, Inc., a non-profit organization committed to forging partnerships in support of postsecondary education, today announced the opening of its privately-funded Wisconsin Workforce Partnership Grant opportunity. The three-year, $4 million grant is designed to strengthen the connection between Wisconsin Technical Colleges and Wisconsin businesses with advanced manufacturing employment needs.

Through the program, currently in pilot form, the Foundation aims to support the rapid expansion or development and implementation of degree, diploma, or certificate programs that increase the number of program graduates who achieve job placement in occupations at Wisconsin businesses in need of employees with specific skills. Results will be tracked closely by the Foundation, and used to inform future funding decisions.

The Wisconsin Workforce Partnership Grant is intended to bring businesses and technical colleges together, to help close the gap between Wisconsin's "middle-skill" jobs and available workers. Middle-skill jobs, which require more than a high school diploma but less than a four-year college degree, are projected to remain at 50 percent of the state's workforce needs. Advanced manufacturing occupations are among the fastest growing middle-skill opportunities.

"There is an urgent need for more Wisconsin residents to secure family-sustaining jobs. At the same time, Wisconsin employers report having trouble finding workers with the skills needed to fill open positions," said Foundation Board Chair Richard D. George. "We are pleased to make private funds available, and to spur additional private investments, to address these issues so critical to Wisconsin's future. We look forward to gaining a better understanding of what makes such partnerships successful, to inform future efforts."

Grant applications are available at WisconsinCovenantFoundation.org and will be accepted through 5:00 p.m. Central, on May 9, 2012.

Joint grant applications must be submitted by a Wisconsin Technical College with one or more Wisconsin businesses as co-applicant(s). Partnerships selected for funding will be eligible for a grant maximum of $750,000. Interested technical college and business partner applicants can register for an informational webinar, April 3, 2012, at 10 a.m. Central.

To learn more about the Wisconsin Covenant Foundation's commitment to forging public and private partnerships in support of postsecondary education, please contact Amy Kerwin at 608-246-1785.

About the Wisconsin Covenant Foundation, Inc.
A private, non-profit organization, the Wisconsin Covenant Foundation, Inc., seeks to foster coordinated public and private investments in postsecondary education, increasingly a requirement for family-sustaining occupations. The Foundation was created in 2007 with a $40 million lead gift from Great Lakes Higher Education Corporation and Affiliates. Initiatives include helping disadvantaged Wisconsin Covenant Scholars pay for education beyond high school and strengthening the connection between Wisconsin's technical colleges and employers.

Contact:
Amy Kerwin
608-246-1785
Email Contact

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