DWD Announces Commute to Careers Grant Application Period Now Open

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$8 million in funding available, application deadline is September 5, 2018

MADISON – Today, the Department of Workforce Development (DWD) announced that the grant application period for Governor Walker's Commute to Careers program has opened with $8 million in funding available. The goal of the grant opportunity is to establish affordable, self-sustaining, and flexible transportation programs that can grow and adapt to meet the needs of the employees and employers which it serves. Potential projects that may be funded through this grant include:

  • Vanpool systems
  • Ridesharing and carpooling activities
  • Shuttles in areas not serviced by public transit
  • Deviated fixed route service
  • Expansion of flexible employer-based programs

Similar models that achieve the objective of connecting low-income workers to quality employment opportunities may also be funded.

"Transportation remains a significant barrier to employment for some workers, and this issue is not unique to Wisconsin," DWD Secretary Ray Allen said. "However, through the innovative Commute to Careers program, we are providing a solution that will open the door of economic opportunity for more workers, as well as help employers meet their demand for skilled talent. I encourage all eligible entities, private-sector business, non-profits and other community-based groups, to take advantage of this program to help connect your local talent with employment opportunities."

The $8 million includes $5 million through DWD's Wisconsin Fast Forward (WFF) Program and $3 million for Vehicle Grants through the Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT). Details include:

  • The Program Grant opportunity through DWD is open to applications from Wisconsin entities that demonstrate a critical need to transport unemployed, low and moderate-income workers to employment opportunities in Wisconsin. Private employers in good standing, non-profit 501(c)(3) organizations, or consortiums comprised of employers, non-profits and organizations that serve people with disabilities are eligible to apply. $1 million is set aside for programs that serve individuals with disabilities.
  • The Vehicle Grant opportunity through WisDOT is open to non-profit and local public bodies, including tribal entities. The funding is targeted to applicants who provide service to low-income residents at 150 percent of the federal poverty level or less. $2 million of the funds are only available to projects that provide services in areas designated as air quality non-attainment, which include: Milwaukee, Racine, Kenosha, Waukesha, Washington, Ozaukee, Walworth, Sheboygan, Kewaunee, Manitowoc, and Door counties. $1 million is available for statewide vehicle grant applicants.

Applicants can apply for one or both grants, provided they meet the application requirements. All grants require a 20 percent match.

"Governor Walker’s Commute to Careers program will change the lives of individuals throughout the state gaining the ability to have transportation opportunities to get to and from employment,” WisDOT Secretary Dave Ross said. “I look forward to the partnerships across the state that will enable our job seekers."

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