Wisconsin Job Service goes on the roadWith St. Croix County’s unemployment rate at 7.5 percent and expected to go higher, the Job Service of Wisconsin has decided to take their show on the road.
By: Meg Heaton, Hudson Star-Observer
With St. Croix County’s unemployment rate at 7.5 percent and expected to go higher, the Job Service of Wisconsin has decided to take their show on the road.
In an interview Tuesday, Wisconsin Secretary of Workforce Development Roberta Gassman said her department has decided to take a “more flexible and pro-active approach” to helping the unemployed across the state. The department held 118 events statewide in February to offer assistance to unemployed workers. And more are scheduled.
Enter Aracely Olguin, a bilingual employment and training specialist with the Job Service. Olguin was in Hudson recently for the first of four workshops designed to give unemployed workers information and advice on preparing for a job search, developing a resume, writing cover letters and looking for jobs and interview skills. Around a dozen people showed up for the first session.
In addition to presenting general information, Olguin meets individually with job seekers to address their specific questions and needs.
“We made the decision to go directly to where the people who need our services live, into the communities at libraries and places accessible to the public to provide people with the best information and advice to seeking and gaining employment,” said Gassman.
The secretary also pointed to the state’s new and improved job search Web site as a valuable asset for the unemployed. “It is free and easy to use for both workers and employers and has the most current information available,” said Gassman. At the site, www.jobcenterofwisconsin.com, employers can list openings they have and the skills the job requires.
Gassman said that the state’s unemployed workers will benefit from the recent passage of the federal Recovery and Reinvestment Act. Among the immediate benefits is an increase of $25 per week in unemployment benefits. Gassman said checks with the increase were being issued this week. The legislation will also extend benefits beyond the former 26-week limit. The federal government will pick up the state’s share of the extended benefits.
Gassman said with the increased unemployment benefits being paid, the state may have to borrow from the federal government. The legislation allows for that money to be borrowed interest free.
Other federal money will be coming to improve the technology of the state’s unemployment services and to modernize programs for the unemployed.
Gassman said additional federal funds will be allocated to the 11 Workforce Development Boards across the state. “That money will provide additional resources for training and job services for adults, young adults and displaced workers.”
She also pointed to Gov. Jim Doyle’s workforce package that “will promote training across the state and connect individuals to training, services and opportunities to increased skills and higher paying work.”
Gassman said there is some hiring going on across the state now. “But we are also looking to the future. When we come out of this, and we will, we want employers to find workers with the skills they need here. Some of these federal resources will help us do that.”
The next Job Service workshop in Hudson is scheduled for Monday, March 23 from 5-6:30 p.m. at the Hudson Area Joint Library, 911 Fourth St. For more information about Job Service of Wisconsin, call (715) 821-0053 or visit www.jobcenterof wisconsin.com.
State workforce specialist offers job counseling
Aracely Olguin, a bilingual employment specialist from the state Regional Job Center, will be at the Hudson Area Joint Library, 911 Fourth St., to provide information and advice on preparing for a job search, developing a resume, writing cover letters and looking for jobs.
No appointment is necessary, and conversations with Olguin will be kept private and confidential.
Sessions are Mondays, March 23, 5-6:30 p.m.; April 13, 2:30-4 p.m.; and April 27, 5-6:30 p.m.
If the Hudson walk-in times are not convenient, call Olguin at Job Service, (715) 821 0053, to make individual appointments. Job search assistance is also available at www.jobcenterofwisconsin.com.