Governor Tony Evers visited River Falls, WI last week to announce more than $5 Million in grants being awarded to help meet the increasing demand for nurses across the state. Wisconsin’s community action association, WISCAP, received a $4.8 million award through the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation’s (WEDC) second round of the Workforce Innovation Grant Program, which aims to create solutions to Wisconsin’s healthcare workforce challenges.
Through the grant, ten member agencies of WISCAP, including West CAP, are receiving funding to help low to moderate-income individuals across 47 WI counties up-skill or re-skill into high demand nursing careers such as CNA, LPN, Medical Assistant, and Associate Degree Nurse. As a member of WISCAP and a participant in the Workforce Innovation Grant, West CAP has committed to help at least 10 low to moderate-income program participants enroll in training and education for careers in the healthcare workforce across its seven-county service area in western Wisconsin.
West CAP’s portion of the grant funding will be used to cover up to $25,000 per participant toward the cost of tuition and fees to obtain nursing-related credentials at either Chippewa Valley Technical College or Northwood Technical College. Funding may also be used to cover the cost of books, transportation, childcare while in class, etc. There are no work requirements, but participants must be low to moderate income and reside in Barron, Chippewa, Dunn, Pepin, Pierce, Polk, or St. Croix counties to participate in the program through West CAP.
A nursing student at CVTC and former participant of West CAP’s Homeless Intervention and Adult Education program, Carrie Kittleson, shared a few words about the initiative at the Governor’s press conference:
“When I first came to West CAP, I was homeless and staying at the local women’s shelter. West CAP helped me get housing, they helped pay for gas and books so I could earn my CNA, and they helped me set goals for my future. I have since gotten my LPN and I am now one semester away from earning my RN degree from CVTC-River Falls at the end of December.”
This program will help people like Carrie who, with the right network of support and resources, can not only improve their own well-being, but the well-being of thousands of Wisconsin residents who rely on the healthcare system. Complete details about the program and how to apply will be shared on the West CAP website in the coming weeks. Visit https://westcap.org to learn more or call West CAP at (715) 265-4271.