Three more county school districts get Wisconsin Fast Forward grants

By Ashley Haynes

Sept. 14, 2018

WAUKESHA — Three more Waukesha County school districts have been named as recipients of the Department of Workforce Development’s Wisconsin Fast Forward Advanced Manufacturing Technical Education Equipment grant. The Wisconsin Fast Forward grant program is attempting to cultivate a strong environment for private sector job creation by helping businesses and other workforce training partners train highly skilled workers to fill current job openings and meet ongoing skill requirements.


The Waukesha School District was awarded $15,100 that will be used at Waukesha West High School. The district plans to use the money towards the purchase of a Tormach CNC Mill, updating welding equipment, redesigning the classroom lab for increased workflow and efficiency, and remodeling a room for storing materials and equipment.

About two years ago, West added a state-of-theart plasma cutter, but much of the remaining metals equipment was aging. In addition, each of the other high schools had a CNC mill, while West did not. Based on feedback the district received from employers and technical colleges, CNC machinists and programmers are in high demand.

“The ability to introduce this equipment to students while in high school and increase their exposure to careers within this pathway is part of the goal for the grant,” said Career and Technical Education Coordinator Millie Haubenchild.


The Arrowhead Union High School District received $49,000 in funding from the state. Arrowhead High School will be using its share of the grant money to partially fund a new metal hydraulic shear.

Last summer, Arrowhead High School’s North Campus Education Metal Facility was updated with a new classroom. Some updates were also made to the metal lab where the shear will be installed.

“In order to effectively teach the needed technical skills, our students cannot be working on equipment from the 1960s,” said Director of Learning Sue Casetta. “By modernizing equipment and facilities to better reflect the work environment of these high demand fields, students see these fields as potential career choices.”

New Berlin

The last county school district gifted with Wisconsin Fast Forward funding is the School District of New Berlin with $50,000.

The funding will go toward a program called “How Machines Work.” Supplies including tabletop mechatronics units, vacuum thermoformers and parts, software and stock materials.

“How Machines Work” will allow students to make various products using different machinery aligned with high-demand manufacturing processes. The course will cover how manufacturing and Industry 4.0 (a current industrial transformation) is impacting the manufacturing industry.

“The SDNB is committed to ensuring students understand a wide variety of opportunities available in manufacturing to support current and future labor market demand,” said Superintendent Joe Garza.