Group assists laid off workers in Rock County - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Group assists laid off workers in Rock County

JANESVILLE (WKOW) -- The recession has been most evident in Rock County, but a group of locally unemployed citizens have started a support group to help get through the tough times.

The Collaborative Organizations Responding to Dislocation or C.O.R.D. know how widespread the unemployment problem is. The group is working to get a handle on what unemployed workers need and how it can help fill in the gaps.

The collaboration started as a workshop for local organizations such as charities, technical colleges and the Southwest Wisconsin Workforce Development Board.

But organizers soon decided to keep working together, looking for ways to create new programs, attract grants and reach out to workers.

C.O.R.D. provides education-teaching for the unemployed, what resources are available, and how to prepare themselves for future jobs.

The group has worked with the Southwest Wisconsin Workforce Development Board to create a "job annex" at the UAW Local 95 Hall, thinking former auto workers might be more comfortable there than at the Rock County Job Center.

Once a week, the annex hosts "Java and Jobs," a session where workers can discuss their concerns with job center specialists and just vent.

It has created a C.O.R.D. newsletter, letting people know about opportunities and benefits, and worked with the United Auto Workers to identify dislocated unemployed workers.

C.O.R.D. is also working on a proposal to expand credit counseling, and they hope to turn its attention to health care, too.

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