Northwood Tech Hosts HOMES Grant Roundtable Event on Site Selection and Training
September 15, 2022
Northwood Technical College hosted a roundtable event Thursday, September 15 at the College’s New Richmond campus conference center with employers, Impact Seven, Northwood Tech staff, school districts, workforce development boards, and other community partners including Tribal representatives, to discuss grant details and planning to utilize the $9.8 million Housing Opportunity and Mobile Education Solutions (HOMES) Wisconsin Innovation Grant. The Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) Secretary Missy Hughes, Department of Workforce Development Assistant Deputy Secretary Danielle Williams, WEDC Workforce Innovation Grants Project Manager Trenton Kranz and Wisconsin Housing, and Economic Development Authority (WHEDA) Assistant Deputy Secretary Jessica Boling were also in attendance.
During the event, stakeholders discussed the details of the HOMES grant, the impact on the workforce and communities, how to implement the grant and the site selection and training and workforce development process and criteria.
“We have already had several community representatives reach out with interest, so there is certainly growing excitement over the potential impact of these housing and training projects,” explained John Will, President of Northwood Tech. “This event was a chance for interested parties to better understand the HOMES grant, and we really appreciate Secretary Hughes, Assistant Deputy Secretary Williams, Assistant Deputy Secretary Boling, and Project Manager Kranz for taking the time to engage with people from our region’s communities.”
Site selection decisions for HOMES projects will be made by Impact Seven in consultation with Northwood Technical College. Interested partners should submit proposal information by Monday, October 31, 2022. Then, proposals will be scored with the top six to eight proposals selected to enter into a due diligence and fact-finding phase, with anticipated project selection for two to three projects by Thursday, December 16, 2022. Proposals, or questions about the process, should be emailed in .pdf format to HOMES@NorthwoodTech.edu
Through a unique partnership between Northwood Tech and Impact Seven, the HOMES grant addresses both advanced manufacturing workforce and affordable housing shortages, focusing on unemployed and underemployed adults and underserved populations. Northwood Tech will allocate $3.8 million for advanced mobile manufacturing equipment and instructional costs. Impact Seven will allocate $6 million toward workforce housing by reducing risk on the multi-family rental housing and onsite workforce accelerators. This will also include extended classroom space in other communities as well.
The project will provide flexible training opportunities in advanced manufacturing including certifications and credentials in mechatronics, smart automation, robotics and machine tool, as well as virtual reality training to Northwood Tech District residents and business and collaboration opportunities with high school instructors on innovating teaching and technologies.
HOMES will serve communities in Ashland, Barron, Bayfield, Burnett, Douglas, Iron, Polk, Rusk, St. Croix, Sawyer, and Washburn counties located in the Northwood Technical College District.
The $9.8 million Housing Opportunity and Mobile Education Solutions (HOMES) Workforce Innovation Grant from the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation is funded through the American Rescue Plan Act.