Our History

The Workforce Development Board of South Central Wisconsin (under Dane County Private Industry Council) was formed in 1983 to discover and develop effective workforce solutions to prepare local workers and businesses to be successful in an increasingly competitive global market. Since that time, we’ve become a national leader in our ability to form strategic partnerships that result in ground-breaking solutions to workforce development challenges. Today, we continue to strive for innovation in everything we do to ensure a healthy economy for the South Central Wisconsin counties of Columbia, Dane, Dodge, Jefferson, Marquette and Sauk.

Recent milestones and achievements

  • In 2009, the  Board was awarded a third-generation Workforce Innovation in Regional Innovation in Regional Economic Development (WIRED) grant for $5 million. Workforce Innovation in Regional Economic Development (WIRED) was a project of the United States Department of Labor. It provided a new approach to workforce and economic development. Through the WIRED model, regions integrated economic and workforce development activities to demonstrate that talent development can drive economic transformation in regional economies across the United States.
  • In 2012, the Workforce Development Board and its partners (Wisconsin Workforce Development Association and 10 Wisconsin Workforce Development Boards, Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation and the Wisconsin Technical College System) were awarded a Department of Labor Workforce Innovation Fund grant for $6 million. The 4-year term grant project, Skills Wisconsin, calls workforce and economic development partners to utilize new data-driven technologies to better identify and meet real-time needs of business so as to gain service efficiencies and develop service strategies customized to the needs of 5,000 firms and industry clusters and 7,000 workers across the state.
  • The year 2013 marked the 30th anniversary of the Workforce Development Board’s formation.
  • In 2014, the Workforce Development Board and its grant partners received nearly $150,000 in Wisconsin Fast Forward grant funding to align efforts and deliver customized incumbent worker training to manufacturing workers and also foundational training to prepare workers for the construction industry as part of the Foundations for the Trades initiative. In the same year, the Board also received a $150,000 award as part of the State of Wisconsin’s Blueprint for Prosperity initiative to further develop its Middle College model. The high school pupil-focused funding will help support training of high school students for successful entry into manufacturing and health care fields.