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Labor official: Wisconsin has high number of faith-based "job clubs"


MILWAUKEE (WTAQ) - A U.S. labor official says Wisconsin is among the states with the largest number of faith-based organizations where the unemployed look for help in finding jobs.

Ben Seigel of the Labor Department’s Center for Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships says thousands of local “job clubs” have been formed around the country. He talked about them during a recent symposium near Milwaukee, which is said to have at least a dozen faith-based job groups.

The Journal Sentinel says those groups offer everything from informal meetings, where people share their challenges and successes in finding jobs – to study sessions where the unemployed are taught to set goals for their job searches.

Also, the centers show people how to make winning resumes, and good impressions during job interviews.

One center in Waukesha has had about 100 members in recent years – and coordinator Peter Warra says about half found meaningful careers. Another program in Mequon has started to help returning veterans.

The centers are especially helpful to older workers who haven’t needed to look for a job in years. The Labor Department’s Seigel says the economic downturn has killed a lot of industries – and many folks have been out of work for so long that they’ve gone to their churches for help. And those churches are responding.