Workforce Development

Update Submitted 5/17/17 by Derek Heikkinen
Workforce Committee Chair & Business Director
North Central Wisconsin Workforce Development Board

To date, the Grow North Workforce Sub-Committee has done an analysis of the population metrics and K-12 enrollment net gain or loss for our school districts over the last 10 years.

New funds for economic development!

The proposed READI grant (subject to HUD approval) is a new comprehensive category of Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds. DOA’s Division of Energy, Housing, and Community Resources would make these funds available through an application process to non-entitlement municipalities (referred to as Units of General Local Government or UGLGs). READI would initially use $10M in unallocated CDBG funds. Traditional CDBG Economic Development, Housing, Public Infrastructure, and Planning grants are still available. The READI program would be an additional grant opportunity.

The new proposed comprehensive grant application must include:

  • Economic Development: The cornerstone of a READI proposal would be an application to create or expand a business. Loans of up to $500,000 would be available in exchange for low- and moderate- income job creation.
  • Workforce Housing: To attract new workers to rural areas, loans or grants of up to $300,000 would be available to rehabilitate or create workforce housing near the economic development project.
  • Workforce Training: Workforce training grants of up to $200,000 would be available to train workers to step into new jobs at the economic development project.

Pursuant to section 105(a)(15) of the Housing and Community Development Act, the funds repaid to the CDO are no longer considered “program income.” Reuse of funds is limited to the CDO. The UGLG cannot insert themselves into the loan process. All future activities are limited to neighborhood revitalization, community economic development, or energy conservation.

More information on the grants here.