WEST OF WINNEBAGO REGIONAL NEWS: Green Lake County, Marquette County, Waupaca County, Waushara County

Waupaca Kmart employees may be eligible for $30K grant, other services following closure

Local News

WAUPACA, Wis. (WFRV) — The Fox Valley Workforce Development says the employees affected by the Waupaca Kmart’s closure will receive assistance via Rapid Response – and the employees may be eligible for up to $30,000 through a grant.

Earlier this month, the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development received official notification of Kmart’s closure. Approximately 41 employees are expected to be affected by the permanent closure.

Affected employees will be assisted by the Rapid Response efforts of the Fox Valley Workforce Development Board.

While employees will receive an overview of the services by the Board and area Job Center, as well as information on unemployment, they will also be evaluated for job readiness and begin the process of finding their next role.

The Board says affected employees may be eligible for assistance from the National Retail Worker Dislocation grant, which can direct up to $30,000 to each laid-off retail worker for retraining, housing, and other support.

“Losing a job can be a painful and confusing experience,” says Anthony Snyder, CEO of the Fox Valley Workforce Development Board, “We will ensure that everyone is given a path. We will evaluate them on their skills, determine if any are eligible for re-training programs and then work with them individually to create fresh resumes and plan a job search strategy. In our region, everyone who wants to work will be provided the tools to become re-employed.”

Access to this grant was originally received by the Board in spring of this year primarily to serve the workers affected by Shopko stores closing.

Funds can be used for tuition, books and supplies, housing assistance, and other support, according to officials.

The Board says that, depending on the needs of the affected employees, other services may be offered, including basic computer classes or a private job fiar.

“Every Rapid Response is different depending on the number of workers impacted, the skills level of the employees and the flexibility of the employer,” says Snyder.

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