WISCONSIN RAPIDS (WAOW)--When St. Michael's Hospital laid off workers, Deb Gentz's career there came to an end. Her job hunt had just begun.
"It's very stressful, you have no idea which way to turn its just a number of emotions and you don't feel really good about yourself at the time," says Gentz.
She turned to the state's Dislocated Workers Program. Gentz enrolled in Mid State Technical College and earned a degree in Business Management. The State picked up the tab.
"I did not have to pay anything for the tuition, for the books, I even got reimbursed for gas which again is very helpful. You don't think about that at the time, but that certainly adds up when you're going to school everyday."
"The governor has been able to direct about $10 million toward retraining workers. On top of that, we get additional federal dollars."
The Secretary of the Department of Workforce Development says Gentz is one of more than 30,000 people the Wisconsin Investment Act (WIA) helped last year. The WIA funds programs to train to people looking for work.
"Folks who've lost jobs, need new skills so they will be ready for their next jobs," says Secretary Roberta Gassman.
The Secretary says about 89% of program participants find jobs.
"Many folks have already lined up new jobs in health care, manufacturing and in business, and others are looking for jobs because they've just completed their training."
Gentz found her next job at the Opportunity Development Center in Marshfield.
"I'm grateful because the job that I'm at also is going to give me some opportunities for the future that I can grow with there so it was a great opportunity for me," says Gentz.