Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development officials have touted Truck Country for the company’s initiative to develop homegrown talent as part of the Wisconsin Fast Forward initiative.

On Sept. 10, Workforce Development Deputy Secretary Jonathan Barry visited Truck Country’s Technician Training Center in Cuba City, Wis. to meet with managers and workers. In May, state officials awarded Truck Country a $319,930 Wisconsin Fast Forward grant to provide training for 24 new hires to become certified Freightliner diesel technicians after a 10-month education program.

The program’s inaugural completed its studies with a luncheon and awards ceremony in July, with four graduates being honored.

“Truck Country welcomes this opportunity to help create new jobs for Wisconsin,” said Mike Birkett, Vvice president of human resources for Truck Country. “These funds will enable us to implement enhanced training facilities and programs for diesel technicians, ensuring highly qualified workers for the future of the state and the trucking industry.”

The Wisconsin Fast Forward training program was initiated in 2013 to encourage partnerships between employers and workforce and economic development organizations.

“Gov. (Scott) Walker’s approach to delivering customized, employer-driven training is helping Wisconsin companies in growing sectors like transportation employ the well-trained and skilled workers they need for success in the 21st century economy,” Workforce Development Secretary Reggie Newson said in a press release.