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Sturtevant session scheduled for August 24, two more sessions to be scheduled

MILWAUKEE – The Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development (DWD) in partnership with the Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority (WHEDA) held the first Wisconn Valley Small Business Capacity Building Session in Milwaukee to help small and disadvantaged businesses compete for construction-related projects. More than 130 individuals participated in the presentation and networking event.  The sessions were developed in response to a survey to address barriers those businesses experience when considering a construction-related project bid.

“Wisconsin’s economic boom is creating thousands of opportunities throughout the state, and under Governor Walker, we feel that the size of your business shouldn’t be an obstacle to benefitting from the state’s historic growth,” DWD Secretary Ray Allen said. “Through these sessions, we are providing real solutions, and we look forward to meeting with more businesses from across the state and discussing ways we can help remove barriers to business growth.”

At the event DWD discussed with local and community partners the tools available to address lack of access to quality workforce by discussion the many programs and resources available to train and skill-up the workforce. These programs include:

  • DWD Wisconsin Fast Forward Grants
  • Pre-Apprenticeship & On-the-Job Training
  • DCF Transitional Jobs
  • DWD Youth Apprenticeship

Lack of access to business capital and workforce are the two leading barriers small and disadvantaged businesses reported in the survey conducted by DWD.  These sessions seek to bridge the gap for both barriers.

“At WHEDA we’re excited to provide easier access to vital financing for contractors working on key projects that will significantly benefit  Wisconsin’s economy that continues to grow under Governor Walker’s administration,” said WHEDA Executive Director Wyman Winston.  “It’s clear from the enthusiastic turnout at this session that there’s great interest among our partners to contribute to Wisconsin’s business growth.”

Through the innovative contractor loan guarantee program administered through WHEDA, local lenders will be able to guarantee 50 percent, or up to $750,000, on new loans to help contractors pay for expenses, such as tools, equipment, and payroll, when working on qualified contracts.  WHEDA has streamlined and simplified the application process to approve loans in approximately one week.

A second event is planned in Sturtevant. Interested participants may still register for the session being held on August 24. The session will be held from 8 to 11 a.m. at the SC Johnson iMET Center, 2320 Renaissance Blvd, Sturtevant. The sessions are free, but registration is required. Go to: to register.

Additional sessions are being planned in both the northeast and northwest regions of the state. When details become available they can be found at:

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