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Styberg, Stowell Associates get workforce equity grants from DWD

The Department of Workforce Development is helping two southeastern Wisconsin businesses fund workforce training and skill development, targeting traditionally underserved communities.

E.C. Styberg Engineering Co. in Racine and Stowell Associates, based in Milwaukee, are the first two recipients of DWD’s new Workforce Equity Grants, made possible by a donation from the IKEA U.S. Community Foundation in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The foundation donated $947,000 to DWD to address workforce needs in southeastern Wisconsin with a focus on improving racial equity in employment. The foundation’s donation reflects the amount of money IKEA Retail U.S. employees collected in Wisconsin unemployment insurance benefits when the company closed stores and furloughed employees during the start of the pandemic.


E.C. Styberg Engineering, which manufactures metal components, has been awarded $306,190 to implement an occupational training program in partnership with Gateway Technical College. The company plans to provide training to 14 current and 10 new employees in technical fields such as applied mathematics, CNC machining and mechanical maintenance. A full-time case manager will also provide work-readiness support, mentoring, and on-the-job coaching. Program graduates receive several industry-recognized certifications and wages in excess of $15 per hour, plus benefits. Racine County Workforce Solutions, a division of Racine County Human Services and the Racine County Job Center, will help administering the grant and recruiting new hires from underserved populations.

Stowell Associates provides caregiving services to elderly and disabled adults and their families in Milwaukee, Kenosha, Racine, Waukesha, and surrounding communities. Stowell’s $63,460 grant award will help fund its Caregiver University, training 75 current and 25 new employees. The company will work with the Southeast Wisconsin Workforce Development Board (Kenosha) to recruit individuals from underserved populations.

DWD will be accepting more applications for Workforce Equity Grants later this year.

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