Experts offer advice for job seekers, displaced workers - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Experts offer advice for job seekers, displaced workers

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New numbers show Wisconsin lost more jobs in the past year than any other state in the country. The state lost 23,900 jobs from March 2011 to March 2012 according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor statistics.

But it's not all bad news. During the past two months, the unemployment rate fell in every county in our viewing area but two: Vilas and Forest.

Employment experts told Newsline 9 jobs are out there, you just might need some extra training to land one.

That's why Terry Olds is hitting the books to land a new job. "Last time I was in high school was 1975 so now coming back to school and doing math, some of that I've never had," he said.

Olds started working at the NewPage mill in Whiting after graduating high school, but he lost that job last year when the mill shut down. "You know, I've worked there for 34 years, high school education, you know, 'what do I do now?,'" he said.

His answer? Go back to school--a choice employment experts say is becoming more common.

"You know you have jobs and you know you have people who need jobs but we need to get people's skills upgraded," Tom Younger, manager of the Marathon County Job Center said. "We have so many really good workers who were displaced because of the economy."

To some of those workers, he recommends getting some specialized training. Olds did. He's enrolled in a welding program at Northcentral Technical College. School leaders say such specialized training gives graduates an edge.

"We help them gain the skills and knowledge they need to really get a good job now," Vice President of Student Services for NTC Laurie Borowicz told Newsline 9.

Over at UW-Marathon County, officials say laid-off workers can benefit from getting a degree.

Jim Rosenberg, adult student initiative coordinator for the school said, "If you look at the statistics about unemployment, and also pay ranges coming out of that it really matters to have academic credentials."

But going back to school can be expensive. School leaders said there are federal programs to help pay for it. Olds qualifies for one of those programs and says this new adventure has given him a second chance.

"Everyone that's lost their jobs, just keep your head up," he said.

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If you were laid-off and are looking to find a new job, employment experts say there are a few things you can do to make the process easier.

First, get to know local agencies that can help you in your search. Here are a few options in central Wisconsin:

For information on courses and training programs at Northcentral Technical College, click here: www.ntc.edu

Want to check out course offerings and programs at UW-Marathon County? Click here: http://www.marathon.uwc.edu/

To learn more about the Marathon County Job Center, click here: http://www.wisconsinjobcenter.org/directory/wda06/0610.htm

Also, you can visit the Department of Workforce Development's website for information on training opportunities and help for displaced workers. http://dwd.wisconsin.gov/det/

 

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