The state Department of Workforce Development (DWD) said it will receive $615,090 in federal funding for “reemployment services” for employees laid off by Assurant Health and Wells Fargo in Milwaukee.
Last March, Wells Fargo announced plans to close its Milwaukee servicing office, citing an improving economy and reduced delinquencies and demand from customers who need help staying in their homes. The company provided notice in May for 839 affected workers.
In June, Assurant Health announced plans to exit the health insurance market, leading to the layoff of 1,200 people in Milwaukee over 18 months.
Mass layoffs in Wisconsin were up 60 percent in 2015.
“This funding from the U.S. Department of Labor will help ensure hundreds of Milwaukee-area workers affected by two dislocations announced in 2015 can access skills and occupational training to prepare them for new opportunities made available by employers seeking qualified talent,” DWD Secretary Ray Allen said. “At the DWD, we are pleased the federal government approved the application we submitted in the interest of hundreds of hard-working Wisconsinites, and we look forward to collaborating with regional partners to deliver these important services to members of Wisconsin’s best-in-class workforce.”
The source of the Labor Department grant is a Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) National Dislocated Worker Grant, formerly known as a National Emergency Grant. The funds will support skills and occupational training and other reemployment services for approximately 240 of the workers affected by the two announced layoffs. As all affected workers from the Wells Fargo and Assurant Health announcement are eligible, DWD will monitor participation and can request additional funds throughout the life of the grant to ensure services are funded appropriately.
DWD is collaborating with Employ Milwaukee, formerly known as the Milwaukee Area Workforce Investment Board, to provide the dislocated workers with comprehensive services. Each participating affected worker will work with a case manager to identify and pursue his or her career goals.
Dislocated workers should contact the Hire Center to determine service eligibility.