Take advantage of grant funding for employee training

By Erin Eagan

Improving your company’s productivity and competitiveness requires an investment in employee training and development. To make funding that training easier, take advantage of employee training funds available through your local Wisconsin technical college. The Wisconsin Technical College System (WTCS) has its own grant program, Workforce Advancement Training (WAT), established in 2005 and funded by the State of Wisconsin with the objective of supporting workforce and economic development efforts in the state.

Each year, the WTCS awards WAT grants ranging from $2,500 to $200,000 per company for general businesses and from $2,500 to $50,000 for small businesses. To be eligible for a WAT grant, Wisconsin employers must meet the following requirements:

  • Be active partners in committing resources to assure project success and achievement of training outcomes
  • Begin training within 90 days of the grant award notification
  • Deploy on-site coaching, development planning and performance support when appropriate to reinforce and sustain newly acquired workplace skills
  • Invest company training funds to cover indirect, administration and non-allowable training costs
  • Report performance outcomes via the WTCS Economic Impact Survey within 30 days of project completion.

Through Workforce Advancement Training grant support, hundreds of Wisconsin employers across many industries have been able to further their employees’ growth and development.

“We have a culture with a strong emphasis on continuous improvement, always striving to serve our customers better,” says DeAnna Dean, Human Resource Manager and Training Specialist for Teel Plastics in Baraboo. “We are fortunate to be able to offer our team members opportunities to learn new things and leverage their skills. Using Madison College WAT grant training courses is one way that our employees have been able to grow and contribute in a meaningful way to the business, improve their own processes and have a stake in how work gets done.”

Richard Desens, HR Business Partner for Arla Foods in Hollandtown, saw improvement immediately following training through Fox Valley Technical College. “Two Spring 2018 leadership series for frontline operations employees documented a 58% and 69% improvement in six competencies,” he says. “The investment of employer and WAT grant funding will help our organization stay competitive and prepare employees for new leadership responsibilities.