Coming out on top of this recession may hinge on getting a new skill set. Now, there's a program that can help bring willing unemployed workers together with vacancies at local businesses for a win-win.
Wisconsin Workers Win is now accepting applications from employers who have vacancies and are willing to train a new employee. Unemployed workers who are willing to undergo training and move into a more permanent job can also apply. A story on FOX 6 Now Thursday confirmed the program is open.
W3, as the program is tagged for marketing, started as Assembly Bill 450 and was co-authored by Republican Van Wanggaard (Racine) and Representative Mark Honadel (R-South Milwaukee). Gov. Scott Walker signed it into law in March.
Here's how it works: Companies with full time positions to fill are matched with an unemployed worker interested in training for that job. During the six-week training period, the employer is not paying wages or benefits, but the worker continues to receive unemployment benefits plus a $75 weekly stipend. At the end of the six weeks, the expectation is that the trainee gets hired as an employee.
"This is about long-term success, not just jobs for right now," Wanggaard said. "Hopefully, this program helps people get skill sets that help both the employees and the businesses who participate."
There are 500 openings for individuals, and Wanggaard said 50 people so far have signed up to be matched with one of the 18 local employers that have put their name on the list.
"I hope more people come out for this," he added. "This is really a win-win for everyone in involved."
To qualify, workers must have started receiving unemployment benefits on or after April 1, 2012, live in either Racine, Kenosha or Walworth counties and be in the first 20 weeks of regular eligibility. Anyone in Racine County interested in participating in W3 should contact the Racine County Human Services Department.