Five New North communities received Commute to Careers program grants to help disabled, underemployed, unemployed and low-income workers get to and from their workplaces. A lack of transportation often is cited as a barrier for some people to get and keep a steady job.
Local grants include:
Greater Oshkosh Economic Development Corp. Foundation Inc. received $30,051 in funding to provide on-demand employment transportation services for employees.
Specialty Cheese Co. in Reedsville received $252,756 to implement a ride pilot program.
Curative Connections Inc. in Green Bay received $44,100 to help employees with disabilities get to and from work and services.
Lakeland University received a $111,637 grant from the Department of Workforce Development to provide 24/7 shuttle service for student employees and interns to businesses throughout Sheboygan County. It also received a $117,000 grant from the Wisconsin Department of Transportation to purchase one minivan, one medium bus with a wheelchair lift and one transit van.
In total, 29 grants were awarded across Wisconsin under the Commute to Careers program, totaling more than $5.1 million. Funding came from both the Wisconsin Department of Transportation and the Department of Workforce Development.
In Oshkosh, services will be provided by the Winnebago County Employment Transportation Feonix Mobility Rising Program. Employers are seeking alternative ways to attract and retain workers, and providing transportation was seen as one of the options, said Jason White, president and CEO of the Greater Oshkosh Economic Development Corp.
“As recruiting becomes more challenging, improving reliability in attendance becomes even more important. This grant will assist in ensuring that anyone who needs to get to work will have an affordable option to do so,” White said in a statement.