New job opportunities for Northeast Wisconsin

HILBERT, Wis. - Despite recent layoffs by major companies across Northeast Wisconsin, new job opportunities are popping up across the area.

Three paper companies in the Fox Valley recently announced closures: Appleton Coated, Appvion and U.S. Paper Converters Inc. However, several other companies announced they're adding jobs.

This week Sargento Foods announced it's expanding its Hilbert facility.  

Management said they hope to fill 150 positions by the fall of 2018.

"Not only are we able to bring in more jobs for the people in this area, possibly even up into the Fox Valley area," said Sargento Foods Vice President of Corporate Communications and Community Relations, Barbara Gannon.

The Nestlé production plant in Little Chute is also expanding its ice cream distribution center, creating 100 new jobs.

According to an announcement from The Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation, state tax credits helped make expansions like this possible.

We spoke with Governor Scott Walker Thursday during the Manufacturing First Expo & Conference in Green Bay.  He told us the state set aside a significant amount of money to help laid-off employees get the training they need to land a job in a different field.

"If a business here is making a change based on larger market issues that go beyond the state of Wisconsin, we've got the kind of training to help people not just in school, but for folks maybe looking to go from one industry to another," Governor Walker said.

Bay Area Workforce Development Board is helping Appleton Coated employees who have lost their job. 

"We make sure we have the appropriate resources and services, wrap around services, designed to get them there," said Program Operations Manager Matt Valiquette.

Valiquette said close to 600 people are expected to be impacted.  He said his group put on a job fair for those workers.

50 employers at the fair offered between 500 and 2,000 jobs matching workers' skills. 

He said they found roughly 25 percent of the Appleton Coated workforce were interested in looking into careers outside of their current skill set.
 

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