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|Thursday, April 27, 2000 |
Tommy G. Thompson
News Media Contact
WISCONSIN FARMERS TO GET HELP FINDING NEW JOBS
MADISON – The U.S. Department of Labor has approved a grant to help nearly 300 Wisconsin farmers, their families, and workers at agricultural companies find new jobs according to Department of Workforce Development (DWD) Secretary Linda Stewart.
"Despite Wisconsin’s strong economy and record low unemployment in recent months, many who work in the state’s agricultural industry are experiencing difficult times," Stewart said. "This grant will provide an opportunity for many individuals who have struggled with a rapidly changing and volatile agricultural economy to get the training and resources they need to find new employment in different industries."
The grant, which could amount to as much as $841,263, will provide basic re-adjustment services and skills training, job search assistance and on-the-job training. Support services may include child care, transportation assistance, equipment and uniforms.
The funding was requested and will be available through the state’s dislocated worker program, which is funded under the Job Training Partnership Act for workers who lose jobs because of technological changes, foreign competition or government action. Generally, workers are eligible if they are unlikely to return to their previous industry or occupation.
The program, called Future Fields, is a continuation of an existing program operated by the Southwest Wisconsin Workforce Development Board. This statewide project will continue to serve the agricultural industry in Wisconsin. It is a collaborative effort of the Department of Workforce Development, three Workforce Development Boards and The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection. Since July 1996, nearly 700 farmers, farm family members and agricultural workers have received services through the project. Of the nearly 500 who have completed the program, ninety-two percent have obtained employment earning an average $10.36 per hour.