Nurses make up 52 percent of the hospital workforce in Wisconsin, and this week the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development (DWD) announced the availability of Fast Forward funds to recruit students to the nursing workforce.
DWD Secretary Ray Allen announced up to $1.5 million in available Wisconsin Fast Forward (WFF) funds to help community-based organizations in a public-private partnership prepare Wisconsin middle and high school students for high-demand careers in the nursing profession. Allen said, “By reaching out to students early, we hope to add another talent development tool to support our state’s leading health care industry and support their workforce for years to come.” High school students interested in pursuing nursing career pathways will be allowed to accumulate technical college credits in pursuit of certifications such as certified nursing assistant.
Wisconsin has invested over $200 million over the past four years and over $140 million in the current biennial budget to support workforce development, including additional support to expand the WFF program. Ann Zenk, WHA vice president, workforce and clinical practice, encourages organizations to apply, noting “Programs, like Wisconsin Fast Forward and the Rural Wisconsin Initiative, enhance our ability to maintain and sustain the workforce we need to meet the growing demand for medical services in communities across Wisconsin.”
The Fast Forward Nursing Training in High School and Middle School RFP is available online and is due Monday, April 16, 2018. For questions regarding the process for submitting proposals, contact DWD Senior Purchasing Agent Barbara Hoffhein at Barbara.Hoffhein@dwd.wi.gov.