From a news release issued by the Department of Workforce Development:

PARK FALLS – Department of Workforce Development (DWD) Secretary Roberta Gassman today announced a $463,488 Wisconsin Industry Partnership grant to train workers for biofuel production in Northern Wisconsin, further advancing Governor Doyle’s agenda to grow the state’s clean energy economy.

“This training grant is another example of Governor Doyle’s strategic investments to help Wisconsin create jobs and seize the opportunity to be a leader in the clean energy economy,” Secretary Gassman said. “These funds will help ensure that workers will be job ready as the biofuels industry expands in northern Wisconsin.”

Secretary Gassman awarded the grant to the Northwest Wisconsin Workforce Investment Board, DWD’s regional partner that proposed the Bio-Energy Sector Training project. The board worked with 15 employers in the biofuel, logging and paper production sector, including Flambeau River Papers, which will be powered by the new Flambeau River BioFuels bio-refinery plant once it is operational in 2013.

Through the grant, current employees and unemployed or underemployed workers will receive training in technology covering areas such as biomass harvesting and management. Chemical plant and system operators, chemists and first-line supervisors are among the jobs that will be supported through the 12-month grant project. With over $490,000 in local matching resources, total funding for the training project will surpass $900,000.