DWD likes applications for Wisconsin Fast Forward programSubmitted: 12/23/2013
Ben Meyer
Ben Meyer
Managing Editor / Senior Reporter

DWD likes applications for Wisconsin Fast Forward program
PEMBINE - Democrats and Republicans in Wisconsin overwhelmingly agreed on a worker training proposal earlier this year.

The Wisconsin Fast Forward will pledge $15 million in worker training grants.

That money will help companies across the state improve the skills of their workers.

We told you about Gov. Scott Walker's visit to Wausau to call for grant applications in early November.

Since then, the due dates for the four types of grant applications have passed.

We wanted to see how the state Department of Workforce Development likes the applications it has gotten.

"We think we're going to have some really good grants. I know that we have some really good grants that have come in. We're going to go through the process right now of evaluating them and making determinations and making awards sometime next year," Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development Secretary Reggie Newson told us.

Awards are available for manufacturers and companies in construction and customer service.

Walker highlighted worker training again at his Northern Wisconsin Economic Summit.

"The state that's most aggressively out front on worker training will be the state that leads the country, if not the world, in economic recovery. That's the one thing I hear so often. I see it in polls, but more importantly, I hear it every week," he said.

Walker believes the Fast Forward grants can be particularly effective in small towns like in the Northwoods.

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WOODRUFF - Downtown Rhinelander turned into a sea of green on Saturday.

The St. Patrick's Day Parade brought in hundreds down to Brown Street.

Green beer, good food and great music made for a perfect St. Patrick's Day.

While most people wore their green clothes proudly, Mike Lamarre from Suring Wisconsin didn't get the memo.

"My eyes are green that's it," said Lamarre.

Lamarre came to Rhinelander with one thing on his to do list.

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WESTON - A Weston company hosted a so-called "bus-rodeo." The event served as an open house for the Lamers Bus Company.

The goal of the event is to see if people are interested in a job as a bus driver. People who visited could get behind the wheel and take a bus for a spin.

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FOREST COUNTY - A DNR technician went to check on timber sales in Forest County on Thursday. In between checks he found what he thought was an abandoned car in the woods. It turned out to be a woman stuck in the snow for a few days.

Jason Headson and his partner Sam were out checking on timber when they saw a parked vehicle.

"We noticed some movement in the car," said Headson.

They approached the small, grey sedan, which had its hood up. Then they discovered an elderly woman in the car.

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WAUSAU - Ashley Sampson and Dan Dadabo opened a business that's new to Central Wisconsin.

"You get a lot of people waving at you and taking a look at it because they've never seen anything like it before," said Dadabo. 

"I've always seen it in other big cities like Minneapolis and Madison but always wanted to try it and it's a lot of fun," said Wausau Chamber of Commerce Ambassador Cheryl Anderson. 

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ARBOR VITAE - Hospice workers help people in their finals days. 

It's a hard job that sometimes goes unnoticed.

That's why co-workers and community members took the time Friday to honor one social work at Dr. Kate Hospice in Arbor Vitae.

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TOMAHAWK - Since the start of the school year, the Tomahawk School District called the police department 55 times. Police say the majority of those calls are related to disorderly conduct or students skipping school. But Chief Al Elvins thinks there's an easy fix that could also better protect the school. 
"This could easily have three officers up here, I mean, as big as it is," said Elvins, while driving past the school Friday. 

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RHINELANDER - Billboards popped up in several places around Wisconsin this week calling Rebecca Dallet "Double-Talk Dallet."

The Republican Party of Wisconsin, which paid for the ads, points to the Wisconsin Supreme Court candidate accepting money for her campaign from attorneys who have cases she presides over.

Dallet told Newswatch 12 during a Friday morning stop in Rhinelander that her opponent, Michael Screnock, took hundreds of thousands of dollars from special interest groups.

The current Milwaukee County circuit judge thinks the state supreme court needs to be fair and independent.

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