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DWD awards $385K to organization training adults to become software developers

The average age of participants in this organization is 32 years old.
Posted at 5:58 AM, Mar 03, 2021

MILWAUKEE — An organization is working to double the tech talent in the Milwaukee area.

The Milwaukee Tech Coalition landed a $385,000 grant from the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development. It will help them start a Tech Apprenticeship program, to train people in our area to become software developers.

A requirement for the grant is to have a company partner that will guarantee graduates a job. For this program, Kohl’s is a partner. The company is not the only employer to take part in the apprentices. Kohl's was the first to step forward and hopes other employers do the same. Milwaukee Tech Coalition is actively working to secure the remaining commitments to take full advantage of the grant.

Michele Carter with the Department of Workforce Development says that is what made this organization stand out, “The reality is that it starts with the employers, right.”

Laura Schmidt with Milwaukee Tech Coalition says the program will include 14 weeks of instruction and students will spend a year learning hands-on at Kohl’s.

A huge opportunity for so many. Schmidt added, “It is a bit of a heavier lift than if you took somebody that was trained a more traditional way.”

Carter with DWD hopes more corporations to realize the talent pool in our very own community. She added, “A lot of this hinges on employers' willingness to help people grow and build in their field.”

Schmidt is excited for what’s to come with the Milwaukee Tech Coalition, that is just a year-old, “We knew a lot of people were hurting a lot of people were out of work and as the recovery kicks off we will be able to build capacity quickly.”

Here is your Rebound Rundown:

The Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development has $3 million in taxpayer-funded grants to still give out.

  • Apply by clicking here: WisconsinFastForward.com
  • Grant sizes range from $5,000 to nearly $400,000
  • A company must partner with your organization’s program
  • Must guarantee graduates will land a job with the company
  • Deadline: April 8.

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