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State launches weekly series of mobile job fairs at Madison vaccination site

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MADISON (WKOW) -- People searching for jobs now have a new resource to help them.

The Department of Workforce Development is launching a series of mobile job fairs to connect the workforce with employers who need them.

The mobile career lab will be set up every Wednesday at Alliant Energy Center through June, where many people are doing temporary health care work.

"We're hoping to reach those folks and let them know about training, career opportunities, other pathways to long term jobs in health care, as well as many other industries around the state," said DWD Secretary-designee Amy Pechacek. "We're also looking to connect with the folks coming in and out of the vaccination sites and let them know about all of the opportunities we have to help them advance their career."

Kristi Sharkus is a temporary worker, supervising the vaccine clinic at Alliant and says as it slows down, she's looking for a new job where she can still help people.

"I think it's a great thing for our employees as we're winding down in COVID. And I know that a lot of other people have limited term employment. And so I think as the environment is changing, this is a really great resource for a lot of people," she told 27 News.

Experts can help with resumes, training and making connections with employers, to find the right fit. With unemployment at 3.8 percent in Wisconsin, it's been hard for some industries to find workers.

"There are still folks who are not able to re enter the job market due to childcare obligations, or also due to a disconnect between the skills required for current vacancies and the skills that folks currently have who are seeking those jobs. And that's where we can really come in and help connect the two," Pechacek said.

Meanwhile, many who are out of work are still waiting for their unemployment cases to resolve. More than 28,000 people have pending adjudication or appeals. Last month, that number was more than 30,000.

Pechacek says the department is continuing to work through its technology challenges.

"We've really staffed up to help be as efficient and responsive to the people in this state as possible. So what we're hearing is, really, that most people are getting through relatively quickly and that we've really improved our service times and deliveries," she said.

In addition to the Alliant Energy Center series, the mobile career center will also be heading to Milwaukee and Brown counties later this summer. Any community in Wisconsin can request a job fair at special events.

Jennifer Kliese

Weekend Anchor and Reporter, 27 News

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