Madison, Wis. –  The Department of Safety and Professional Services is now accepting applications for a new grant program to expedite entry into the civilian licensed workforce for current and former military members. Included in the 2021-2023 budget, the grant program is an initiative to support active-duty military and veterans while also addressing workforce issues in Wisconsin.

The Military Pathways Grant Program will award up to $50,000 to educational and training institutions seeking to create “crosswalks,” or formal tracks that enable current and former military members to satisfy occupational licensing requirements with training completed during their service. The department will award a total of $50,000 this year and another $50,000 next year.

“The brave men and women who serve our country receive invaluable training during their time in service,” said DSPS Secretary Dawn Crim. “This grant program will make it easier for educational institutions to formally acknowledge what individuals already know so that they can focus future learning on new concepts and skills. This will enable individuals with military training and experience to get to work in civilian jobs more quickly and easily.”

Crim adds that crosswalks that create pathways to civilian careers can help make Wisconsin more appealing to veterans looking to relocate after leaving the service. Shortening the path to employment is also good for employers eager for qualified candidates.

To develop the programs, Secretary Crim and other department leadership partnered with the Department of Veterans Affairs last year to offer multiple virtual listening sessions with military, veteran, and educational stakeholders.

“Programs like this again demonstrate how committed the entire Evers administration is to the success and well-being of military members, veterans, and their families.” said DVA Secretary Mary Kolar. “Members of the military and veterans have so much to offer the people of Wisconsin. This grant program will help them achieve their civilian career goals and build lives in communities throughout our state.”

Grant information is available here. Applications are due March 14, 2022.

About DSPS: The Department of Safety and Professional Services issues more than 240 unique licenses, administers dozens of boards and councils that regulate professions, enforces state building codes, runs the state fire prevention program, and maintains the award-winning Wisconsin Enhanced Prescription Drug Monitoring Program, which is a key tool in the multi-faceted public health campaign to stem excessive opioid prescribing. A fee-based agency, the Department of Safety and Professional Services is self-sustaining and receives no general fund tax dollars for its day-to-day operations. With five offices and 250 employees throughout Wisconsin, DSPS collaborates with constituents and stakeholders across a wide range of industries to promote safety and advance the economy.

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