Northwood Technical College is participating in an initiative funded by the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) as part of a $10 million Workforce Innovation Grant. The RESTORE (Restoring Employment through Support, Training, Outreach, Recruitment, and Education) project is funded by the federal American Rescue Plan Act. Gov. Evers announced the recipients of the three-year grant during a news conference on Tuesday, Dec. 14, 2021. The application, which was led by Chippewa Valley Technical College (CVTC), was one of the final 12 chosen to receive award funding out of the 130 total applications. The purpose of the Workforce Innovation Grant Program is to help the regions of Wisconsin address and solve the critical workforce shortage in the manufacturing industry “by financially supporting collaborative, sustainable and innovative pandemic-recovery plans developed by regional organizations,” according to the WEDC website.

Total funding of $9,999,614 is to be utilized for a collaboration including Northwood Tech, CVTC, Bloomer High School, Osseo-Fairchild High School, St. Croix Central High School (SCC), Processed Metals Innovators, and the West Central Wisconsin Workforce Development Board (WCWWDB). The counties that will be served by this grant include Ashland, Barron, Bayfield, Buffalo, Burnett, Chippewa, Clark, Douglas, Dunn, Eau Claire, Iron, Jackson, Pepin, Pierce, Polk, Rusk, Sawyer, St. Croix, Taylor, Trempealeau, and Washburn.

Under this collaboration, the RESTORE project’s model develops multi-purpose training centers and mobile labs to be integrated into rural regions of Wisconsin for high schools and employers to utilize for manufacturing-related training centers and to assist in rebuilding the workforce after challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic. One of these training centers will be the St. Croix Valley Manufacturing Outreach Center located at SCC utilizing a portion of the $3,815,972 grant, of which Northwood Tech was a sub-recipient. Manufacturing training centers will also be put in place at Bloomer and Osseo-Fairchild High Schools. The RESTORE grant will:

  • Enroll and/or serve at least 1,200 disconnected and underserved participants, including rural secondary students, unemployed and underemployed adults, and incarcerated individuals, by December 31, 2024.
  • At least 900 participants will complete industry-recognized training credentials in metal manufacturing by December 31, 2024.
  • At least 600 participants will gain or maintain employment, advancement opportunities, and/or pay increases with regional employers following completion of training programs.

In response to the grant funding awarded to Northwood Technical College, Northwood Tech President John Will expressed, “We are excited to partner with St. Croix Central and Chippewa Valley Technical College in this capacity-building effort to offer training solutions in advanced manufacturing.”

This award to Northwood Tech and fellow sub-recipients was part of the first round of grants funded under the Workforce Innovation Grant – RESTORE. According to Gov. Evers’ office, Wisconsin will award a second round of workforce grants in 2022.

Northwood Tech is grateful to all its community partnerships. Your support of the Northwood Tech Foundation is essential to student success. For information on how to contribute, visit www.northwoodtech.edu/donate.


A nationally top-ranked college and a designated 2021-22 Military Friendly® School, Northwood Tech serves the educational and career needs of more than 15,000 residents of Northwestern Wisconsin each year. With multiple campuses, Northwood Tech offers career-focused associate degree programs, technical diplomas, short-term certificates, customized business training, and a wide array of courses for personal or career enrichment. Northwood Tech is a member of the Wisconsin Technical College System and is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (www.hlcommission.org). For more information, call 800.243.9482 or visit northwoodtech.edu. Northwood Technical College is an Equal Opportunity/Access/Affirmative Action/Veterans/Disability Employer and Educator.


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