Workforce Development Board Ready to Serve Those Recently Unemployed Due to the COVID-19 Crisis

Published Monday, May 11, 2020

The Fox Valley Workforce Development Board, a 501(c)3 not-for-profit based in Neenah with a focus on workforce training and job search assistance, has created a form on its web site at www.foxvalleyjobcenters.com.The purpose of this form is to collect the name and contact information to help assist anyone now permanently unemployed due to the COVID-19 crisis.

Those who complete the form will be contacted by a career planner with free job search and resume assistance, along with possible financial support for retraining. All services offered by the FVWDB are free.

When Governor Tony Evers implemented his Safer at Home order on March 25, the nonessential employers that closed did so thinking the crisis would soon be over. Some employers continued to pay their employees as part of a furlough, while others laid employees off without pay, allowing them to collect both Unemployment Insurance (UI) and additional funds from the federal relief act.

Typically, when an employer lays off workers, they issue a Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN Notice) letting both the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development (DWD) and the local workforce board know how many employees are being laid off and when. Many employers either didn’t file their WARN Notice when they closed or now find their circumstances have changed.

“When the doors to Wisconsin employers closed on March 25, many of these businesses fully expected to re-open and bring back their staff,” said Anthony Snyder, CEO of the Fox Valley Workforce Development Board. “Now, nearly 50 days later, we’re starting to hear about permanent layoffs or business closures for good, but we have no way to reach the former employees.”

With job centers still closed, the FVWDB has created a pop-up form on its web site for the permanently unemployed to share their name, contact information, county of residence and name of previous employer. Upon submission, the individual will be contacted by one of FVWDB’s career planners to assist with a skills assessment, resume update, development of a job search strategy along with guidance and support. In addition, some individuals may qualify for retraining completely or partially paid for by the Board through the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA). Along with tuition, the Board may also cover books, class supplies, child care, and even tools needed to complete the course.

FVWDB operates five job centers in the region, all currently closed due to Governor Evers’ stay at home order. Individuals who are permanently unemployed are invited to use the data collection form on the job center web site to find a supportive professional ready to assist. Alternatively, individuals can reach staff at the Fond du Lac Job Center at (920) 929-3900 or the Fox Cities Job Center/Menasha at (920) 997-3272.

For more information on the Fox Valley Job Centers or the work of the Fox Valley Workforce Development Board, please visit www.foxvalleywork.org or call 920-720-5600.

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