Wisconsin to award $400,000 in grants to help veterans find work - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

Wisconsin to award $400,000 in grants to help veterans find work


Madison (WKOW) -- Governor Scott Walker is trying to lower the unemployment rate among veterans by giving six grants to nonprofits that help veteran entrepreneurs. 

Walker said the state will award $400,000 in grants. He made the announcement at at the state Capitol alongside the State Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary Daniel Zimmerman on Monday. 

"There shouldn't be a person wanting, who served in our country, who wants not just a job but a careers," Walker said. 

Bunker Labs, an organization in Madison, will receive $238,556. It's the largest grant out of the six nonprofits awarded. Bunker Labs helps veterans network as they begin their start-up companies. 

The executive director said the grant will allow them to hold networking programs around the state. 

"These are highly trained, highly motivated, very experienced leaders who are moving back to our communities and many communities, not just Madison but around the state," said Michael Ertmer. "We're obviously very excited with the grant, it's been quite a while in coming. It's exciting for us as in it allows us to expand our program and the grant specifically is going to used across Wisconsin,"

He said of the more than 200,000 military vets who will transition to the workforce this year, 25 percent will want to start their own companies. But only six percent will do so successfully. 

The grant will now enable them to better that statistic. 

As of the latest data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics, Wisconsin has a veteran unemployment rate of 3.6 percent. 

Other organizations that will receive grant money is Madison's Legal Action of Wisconsin and Middleton's Michelangelo's Workshop.

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