Workforce development

The Workforce Development Board of South Central Wisconsin (WDBSCW), in partnership with the WorkSmart Network and Wisconsin Job Service, is hosting a transferable skills workshop on July 29 followed by an interview event on Aug. 22 for workers affected by retail closures, like Shopko, even if they’ve since secured employment. 

“As one of the largest employers in south central Wisconsin, UW Health is very excited to participate in the Workforce Development Board of South Central Wisconsin’s Interview Insider event to try and help displaced retail workers get back on their feet,” said Marvel Browne, UW Health Career Pathways Recruitment Coordinator. “We hope to provide exceptional career opportunities that would allow these individuals to utilize their excellent customer service skills and positively impact our patients and families, while earning a sustainable living wage and excellent benefits.”

The transferable skills workshop, jobUP: How Your Retail Skills Transfer to Other Industries, can help workers who were or will be laid-off from retail jobs explore the skills they’ve built – like customer service, management and multitasking – and how they transfer to industries like healthcare and IT. Individuals can either register to attend in-person or receive a link to the video recording.

The interview event, Interview Insider, offers a chance for the affected workers to learn about available careers that fit their skills directly from local companies. Workers will have the opportunity to interview with Exact Sciences and UW Health and meet with WorkSmart Network career planners to build and edit resumes, prepare for interviews and job fairs, and receive labor market information. A representative from Covering Wisconsin will also be available to provide information on healthcare options. Up to five paid internships may be awarded to eligible attendees.

Attendees can meet one-on-one with a WorkSmart Network career planner before Interview Insider. Those who schedule a meeting can receive career exploration, prepare for the interviews with Exact Sciences and UW Health, and receive connections to trainings and local resources. At the meeting, individuals will receive a gift card to cover transportation expenses.

“The people of Exact Sciences are working to help detect cancer,” said Scott Larrivee, Exact Sciences Senior Manager. “We look forward to sharing how careers on our Laboratory and Customer Care teams line up with the skills and experiences of retail workers. If you want to achieve something meaningful, we need you. And you don’t need to be a scientist to apply.”

  • The transferable skills workshop will be held at the WDBSCW (3513 Anderson Street, Suite 104, Madison) at 9–9:30 a.m. July 22. Registration required.
  • Interview Insider will be held at StartingBlock Madison (821 East Washington Avenue, second floor, Madison) from 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. Registration required.

Event organizers say these events are ideal for retail workers who may be stringing together multiple part-time positions to pay the bills, and looking for opportunities that offer advancement and higher earnings. Interested individuals should visit www.wdbscw.org/retail to find more information and to register for jobUP, Interview Insider and one-on-one’s with a career planner.

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