Demand for W-2 aid increases - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Demand for W-2 aid increases

Demand for W-2 aid increases

by Elizabeth Fay

WISCONSIN RAPIDS (WAOW)--The Wisconsin Rapids Job center keeps busy with people seeking help through the W-2 program.

"A lot of the folks that come into our program have a lot of barriers to employment they may not have a drivers, license have a criminal record, have a lack of education," says W-2 Supervisor, Brandon Vruwink.

The W-2 program helps people overcome barriers to land a job.

"It might be through education, job coaching and a variety of other programs that might be helpful to them," says The Deputy Director of the Wood County Department of Social Services, Diane Cable.

Demand for the program continues to increase. Back in January, Wood County had 68 W-2 cases. A few months later, that number jumped to about 110. The program supervisor blames the increase on a sluggish economy and people losing unemployment benefits.

"Some unemployment benefits have been exhausted so we are seeing customers that have received unemployment for a period time and their extensions have ran out and now they are coming in the door as a last resort," says Vruwink.

W-2 workers go beyond the state's recommendation of 34 cases per employee.

"Right now we are upwards of approaching 46 to 48. Now we are at the point where we need to be careful because as our caseloads increase we need to be sure we are still ensure that we are still providing the quality service to our customers."

Online Reporter: Elizabeth Fay

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