As the end of Shopko’s final chapter looms, a diverse group of workers is now looking to move on.
“Not since 2008/2009 have we seen such a large layoff,” said Sarah Scharenbrock, and Admissions Advisor at NWTC, “the corporate center and your highly skilled individuals that were in office roles, distribution center, all different sorts of backgrounds, and then the retail stores as well.”
Officials say there are plenty of opportunities for those employees, and help is being offered to help navigate what can be a confusing time.
“It can be overwhelming,” Scharenbrock said. “We’re seeing individuals from all different areas, from very entry level, maybe just out of high school, all the way up to have worked in corporate, finance, HR, IT, for 20, 30 years.”
At resource fairs like the one held Thursday at NWTC, experts help all of those individuals strategize for their next step.
“If they’re coming in with some outdated skill sets, where can they go, what else is out there, and what are some of those hot roles that they might want to look at,” said Kim Iversen, Director of Northeast Wisconsin IT Alliance.
For some, a job in IT might be the answer.
“Looking at the numbers here for Northeast Wisconsin alone, (there will be) 3,000 new IT positions that we won’t be able to fill,” Iversen said.
Whatever the next move, resources are at the ready.
“It helps take away some of that fear, especially when they’ve been at that company for a decade or longer,” Iversen said.