Federal grants to help fund Waukesha County apprenticeships
$6 million to benefit around 600 workers

By Katherine Michalets - Freeman Staff

Sept. 15, 2015

WAUKESHA - Grants totaling $6 million from the U.S. Department of Labor will help fund apprenticeship programs affecting 600 workers in the Midwest, including Waukesha County.

According to the announcement, a $3 million grant was awarded to the Milwaukee Area Workforce Investment Board, Inc. to expand seven new registered apprenticeships in information technology, health care, manufacturing and construction. Another $3 million grant was given to the Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design to fund the AIM-High Wisconsin Apprenticeships in Manufacturing & HighTech Wisconsin project.

Milwaukee Area Workforce Investment Board President and CEO Earl Buford said the grants could result in a “lot of growth for Waukesha County.”

“This opens the floodgates to help southeastern Wisconsin,” he said.

Most trade careers are dependent on considerable training, Buford said, and this grant money will help companies educate valuable workers. The funds to the Milwaukee Area Workforce Investment Board, Inc. will be shared with its consortium partners in St. Louis and Detroit and will benefit 300 apprentices. Employers include Quicken Loans, Meridian Health, General Motors, Emerson, Building and Construction Trades Council of St. Louis and St. John Providence Health System and Goodwill.

The grant to MIAD is expected to help an additional 300 workers in information technology, construction and advanced manufacturing industries through apprenticeships, according to the announcement. Participating employers include Harley-Davidson Motor Company and GE Healthcare Systems.

“GE Healthcare is proud to partner with MIAD in providing the on-the-job-training and essential career experience through the AIM High Wisconsin program. The exceptional apprenticeship, mentoring, and training that will be provided in this program will help drive new innovations, provide a specialized employment-ready workforce and help fill critical talent gaps in industrial design in companies like GE Healthcare. We are looking forward to continuing our collaboration through other projects, lectures and internships in the future,” said Robert T. Schwartz, general manager of Global Design & User Experience for GE Healthcare, in a statement.

Buford said it will be helpful to have funding for industries to develop apprentices that normally don’t have them, like information technology and health care.

Email: kmichalets@conleynet.com