The center closed July 1 due to a reduction in workforce development funds in the region. Due to record low unemployment, the Fox Valley Workforce Development Board (FVWDB) in Neenah, which includes Berlin in its coverage area, lost $400,000 in state and federal funding for the fiscal year starting July 1.
With less funding, FVWDB CEO Anthony Snyder says the board needed to lower its costs, which meant reducing services and led to the decision to close the center in Berlin.
“Once we knew the situation, we began to speak with our community partners to see if there was anything we could do to keep the Berlin Job Center open,” Snyder said. “This is where the ADVOCAP connection came in.”
ADVOCAP, an area leader in employment and training opportunities, has offered to staff the Berlin Job Center with volunteers managed by ADVOCAP. The Berlin Job Center will reopen Monday as a self-service center, but its hours will increase once volunteers can be trained.
“It’s too important for a city like Berlin not to have access to the services at a job center,” said ADVOCAP CEO Mike Bonertz. “While our unemployment rate is low and the economy seems to be booming, there are still countless individuals in our rural areas that need a hand up in their job search.”
For more information on the Berlin Job Center’s hours, visit www.foxvalleyjobcenters.com.