Manufacturing Worker Certification Launched
Milwaukee – Governor Jim Doyle has launched a statewide manufacturing worker certification program in an effort to credential at least 40 percent of Wisconsin’s workers with the Manufacturing Skills Standard Certification by 2016. The program focuses on skills for manufacturing and production, safety, maintenance awareness, and quality and continuous improvement. It is designed to prepare Wisconsin workers to succeed amid global competition.
Workers will be able to test their competence in a variety of skills, and businesses and technical colleges will be able to work together to upgrade worker skills, as needed. The process helps employers assess the skill needs of their workforces and helps workers target training resources more effectively. It includes $250,000 in grants to local workforce development boards and their technical college partners across the state.
New Phase of Fox River PCB Cleanup Begins
De Pere – The next phase of cleaning up polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) contaminated sediment in the lower Fox River near the De Pere Dam kicked off this week. This phase of the project will remove approximately 150,000 cubic yards of highly contaminated sediment that sits downstream and west of the dam. Although the area near the dam contains only about 2 percent of the sediment to be remediated in the lower Fox River, it contains almost 10 percent of the PCB mass that needs to be removed.
This deposit has PCB levels of up to 3,000 parts per million (ppm). The goal is to remove all sediment with PCB concentrations greater than one ppm — the most aggressive standard ever used. Last April, NCR and U.S. Paper Mills agreed to design and implement cleaning of the De Pere hot spot as soon as possible, instead of waiting for an overall agreement for cleaning the rest of the river, from Appleton to Green Bay.
Wisconsin Coastal Protection Grants Announced
Madison – On April 20, Governor Jim Doyle announced $1.6 million in grants to protect and enhance Wisconsin’s coastal communities. Administered by the Wisconsin Department of Administration’s Coastal Management Program, the 35 grants will be used by nonprofit organizations, as well as local, state, and tribal governments to assist with projects totaling nearly $4.4 million.
Projects benefiting the Wisconsin coast of Lake Superior, the world’s largest body of fresh water, will receive $767,993, or nearly half the grants. Projects receiving grants this year are working to restore cultural resources, preserve wetlands, protect critical habitats, provide for sustainable coastal communities, promote Great Lakes education, and enhance public recreational access to Lakes Michigan and Superior. Recipients were recommended by the Wisconsin Coastal Management Council, and the funds are part of Wisconsin’s federally funded Coastal Management Program. The complete list of grants: http://www.wisgov.state.wi.us/docview.asp?docid=11071.