UPDATED: Laid-off Oshkosh Defense workers get federal grant - WBAY

UPDATED: Laid-off Oshkosh Defense workers get federal grant

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Oshkosh - Hundreds of Oshkosh Corporation workers who were recently laid off will receive federal help in finding a new job.

With about 700 jobs being cut at the Oshkosh Corporation, the state Department of Workforce Development now has a $470,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Labor.

"We have individuals who they might have some skills that were excellent while they were at Oshkosh Defense, but they don't quite fit out there in the rest of the job market, so maybe they need a class or two which allows them to become more marketable," Al Hess of the Fox Valley Workforce Development Board said.

The grant will provide workers with training for in-demand occupations, as well as career counseling and job-search assistance.

"It used to be you just get an application, fill it out and that was kind of it and you might hear back. A lot of companies now are asking in addition to that application, they want to see a resume, and for the production type employee that's something they might not have experienced before," Hess said.

Oshkosh Corporation announced the cuts in its defense division last April, saying the decision was driven by a lower demand for it's mine-resistant trucks and other military vehicles. Similar job losses were announced in 2013.  

"Every worker let go in this recent round of cuts is eligible for the assistance. The Department of Workforce Development predicts about a fourth will take advantage of the offer," Hess said.

"It's really tough to tell," he added. "If the economy picks up even more than what it has a lot of those individuals we won't see; they will be able to find jobs on their own."

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