DWD picks regional W3 providers in Milwaukee, Racine, Rock County

Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development Secretary Reggie Newson today announced the selection of two providers to help administer the Wisconsin Workers Win (W3) pilot program in workforce regions serving southeast Wisconsin, starting in June of 2012.

Selected W3 regional providers include:

  • UMOS, a non-profit  organization based in Milwaukee, which has been chosen to operate the program in Milwaukee.
  • Racine County Human Services, which has been chosen to operate the program in the workforce area including Kenosha, Racine and Walworth counties.
  • Community Action, Inc., which will administer a pilot program in Rock County and southwest Wisconsin.

Selected providers will oversee operational elements of the program and will work directly with participating employers and UI claimants to match and place W3 trainees based on location, identified skills and other factors. The providers were among bidders that responded to a request for proposals that DWD issued in April, and they were notified last week of DWD’s intent to award contracts to them based on their proposals.

Program costs are being finalized and will ultimately vary by trainee participation levels. Previous fiscal estimates noted the full pilot would cost approximately $750,000 for three workforce development areas and serve up to 500 Unemployment Insurance (UI) claimants.

The program enables UI claimants who are in the first 20 weeks of collecting regular UI benefits to participate in a limited-term training placement at an employer. In addition to receiving UI benefits, participating trainees will receive a $75 weekly stipend to defray costs associated with participating in training. The stipend and continued UI benefits will save costs for participating employers and provides claimants an opportunity to train at an employer prior to being hired.

“We are moving quickly to launch this innovative pilot program before June 30 so that employers and unemployed individuals can take advantage of this win-win effort to connect job seekers with training and, ultimately, new employment opportunities,” Newson said in a press release. “We look forward to the positive impact the W3 program will have right away in southeast Wisconsin, thanks to partnerships with organizations that have the expertise to implement W3 effectively and efficiently.”

The W3 program was co-authored by Representative Mark Honadel of South Milwaukee and Senator Van Wanggaard of Racine, and included as a part of Gov. Scott Walker’s “Wisconsin Working” plan.