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Letter from Rep. Petryk: Wisconsin Career and Technical Education Incentive Grants


This session, I was fortunate to work on many pieces of great legislation that will help Wisconsin continue to move in the right direction for workforce development, skills training, and good paying jobs for our citizens.  One bill, of which I was the primary author, was signed into law by Governor Walker in December, 2013 and it establishes a grant program to promote career and technical education in high schools. Now known as 2013 Wisconsin Act 59, this new law requires the Department of Public Instruction (DPI) to award grants of $1,000 to school districts for each pupil who completes an approved, industry-recognized certification and who graduates from the school district. 

DPI, as required by the new law, has collaborated with the Department of Workforce Development and Wisconsin Technical College System and together they identified the industries and occupations that face workforce shortages or shortages of adequately trained, entry-level workers. Also required by the law, DPI is required to approve industry-recognized certification programs that address workforce shortages in the identified industries and occupations.

DPI just recently unveiled their new webpage providing more information on these career and technical education incentive grants.  This webpage has the appropriate information on eligibility, how to apply, how workforce shortages were determined, and most importantly, the approved certifications list for the 2014-15 school year. 

Work-Based Learning Program Certificates include agribusiness, finance, information technology, health sciences, to name a few.  Industry Recognized Certificates include, but are not limited to, assistant child care teacher and certified nursing assistant.  Finally, the Wisconsin Technical College Certifications are part of a career pathway program to a Technical College Technical Diploma or Associate Degree. 

For a full list of DPI approved certificates and for more information on the program, please visit  As always, my staff and I are always available to assist with any questions you may have.  Please call us at (608) 266-0660 or email me at