We have gathered important information about the local labor market to help job seekers understand the current trends in the NorthCentral Region. Check back regularly for updates and a new article every month. 

Career Services

Our Career Services Team specializes in our local labor market. They have formed connections with local employers to facilitate opportunities for FSET customers. They also work with labor market experts to gather the best information available about the trends in the NorthCentral Region.

CSS Team

 Kailey Holloway

 Career Services Specialist

 (Adams, Portage, Wood)

 (715) 315 - 0191



 Megan Stanchik

 Career Services Specialist

 (Forest, Langlade, Lincoln, Marathon, Oneida, Vilas)

 (715) 216 - 0144


Let's Talk Labor Market 18-05


Attracting Applicants and Promoting Job Retention

In September, Wisconsin’s unemployment rate fell to an unprecedented low of 2.6%. Because of this, employers are experiencing an even more constricted available labor pool when trying to attract new applicants and promote job retention. As the unemployment rate stays low, job searchers have more job options whether they are currently employed, underemployed, or unemployed. This is pushing employers to expand their offerings to applicants and their exisiting employees by way of benefits, compensation, and overall atmosphere. Several local employers have made changes to attract and keep qualified employees. 

Wisconsin Veneer and Plywood - Wages

The biggest factor that most people think of when it comes to attracting and retaining employees is wage. Many companies have increased their starting wages to attract candidates. According to Nick Endres, Recruiter at Wisconsin Veneer and Plywood:

         There was a stigma surrounding our company that wages were low. I used a combination of wage comparisons, exit interviews and various metrics to propose raising our starting hourly rate and was able to implement the starting hourly compensation increase. This has resulted in higher employee retention among new hires, more candidates accepting job offers and less turnover. “ 

Volm Companies – Child Care

Other employers understand that child care costs are at an all-time high which presents a serious issue for working parents. According to Childcaring.org, in Langlade County, average cost for childcare at a daycare center for an infant 1 year or younger averages $775.00/month. In Marathon County, costs average around $962.00/month (Childcaring.org, January 2018). This costs more than monthly rent for many people!

Volm Companies in Antigo recognized this issue and recently introduced a childcare reimbursement benefit. They will reimburse employees $200/month for 1 child and up to $300/month for 2 or more children to put towards childcare costs. It doesn’t cover the total cost of childcare, but it certainly helps ease the burden! 

Home Depot – Health Care

One of the big perks of working a full-time job vs. a part-time job, besides a larger paycheck, is the health insurance benefits that you receive. The problem is that it can take up to 3 months before you are eligible to participate in the plan. If a person receives Badger Care assistance, there is often a period where Badger Care ends and they are uninsured until their new insurance plan becomes active. 

The Home Depot identifies this as an issue for many people, so they offer health, vision, and dental insurance benefits immediately upon hire for full-time workers. Even part-time employees receive dental and vision benefits immediately upon starting their employment. 

Volm Companies – Sign-on Bonus

More and more employers are advertising sign-on bonuses for new employees to promote job retention. For example, Volm Companies provides a $2000 sign-on bonus which is paid out in chunks over the course of 2 years while employed with the company. Employers have found that this helps attract the attention of potential applicants.

Overall, employers recognize that it is a competitive labor market and are looking for new and creative approaches to attracting job seekers as well as promoting job retention. These are just a few examples! More and more people job seekers are noting that wages are only one piece of what is important to them in their career and employers are beginning to appreciate that.





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Top FSET Employers

The following are 3 of the employers who have hired the largest number of FSET customers in 2018. 

Infinity Foods, formerly known as both Infinity Foods and McCain Foods, combined operations to become Infinity Foods on August 1, 2018. Since that time, Infinity has hired 8 FSET customers from both Wood and Portage County. Most of these employments took place during the month of October, and the CSS team expects the number of FSET customers hired at Infinity to continue to go up. 

Nicolet Staffing, a staffing and employment agency with locations in Wisconsin Rapids and Stevens Point, is hiring for the Eastbay/Footlocker holiday season. Nicolet is offering their seasonal employees transportation from Stevens Point to Eastbay in Wausau in order to accommodate Eastbay's large seasonal push. 12 FSET customers have been employed through Nicolet since the beginning of 2018, with an continued expected increase towards the end of the year. 


Midwest Labor has locations that service the NorthCentral FSET Program in Marshfield, Wisconsin Rapids & Stevens Point. With 36 employments for FSET customers during 2018 (so far!), Midwest Labor is a go-to employment agency for anyone who's looking for quick and simple placement with an employer. Midwest usually specializes in jobs with manufacturers, and several FSET customers have gone on to be hired on directly at the manufacturer of their choice.

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Employer Spotlight


Remedy Intelligent Staffing is a professional staffing organization that has been staffing for 10 years in 15 offices located across the state of WI. The Remedy offices that NorthCentral FSET program customers have worked to find employment with are in Wausau, Stevens Point, Medford and Reedsburg.  

Since the beginning of 2018, NorthCentral FSET customers have gotten employed 39 times through Remedy Staffing!

When asked what Remedy’s mission, vision and values are, Market Manager Terra Thompson said, “we strive to place candidates in the appropriate work culture they are looking for!” With Remedy’s commitment to excellence in placing each candidate in the right job for both the candidate and the company, potential employees can be sure that Remedy will take care of them. Terra also emphasized that “we ensure that our associates are paid on time, we make this our number one priority.”  Since winning Inavero’s Best of Staffing Talent award in 2018, Remedy has continued to provide consistent and high- quality employment to everyone they work with.

Some of the current openings that Remedy has in Stevens Point are for fork lift operators, food production positions, assemblers, and material handlers.

If you would like a direct referral for employment to Remedy Staffing, just contact your case manager at any time! Your case manager will reach out to the Career Services Specialist for your FSET office, who will make that referral on your behalf. For more information, please visit Remedy’s website HERE, or contact the Career Services Specialist (contact information above) that works out of your FSET office.  

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Unemployment Rates

Click on the map to view the most current Unemployment Rates, by county, for Wisconsin.



NorthCentral Region Rates

(not seasonally adjusted)

 CountyOctober September August
 Adams 3.5  3.1


 Forest 3.6  3.64.5
 Langlade3.1 3.04.0
 Lincoln 2.5  2.43.3
 Marathon2.3 2.22.7
 Oneida2.7 2.62.8
 Portage2.4 2.42.9
 Wisconsin2.6 2.63.1

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Hot Jobs

The following are the most in-demand fields in the NorthCentral Region:

  • Sales
  • Registered Nurse
  • Heavy & Tractor-Trailer Drivers
  • Marketing
  • General/Operations Manager
  • Accountant/Auditor
  • Maintenance/Repair Worker
  • Construction Worker
  • Carpenter
  • Welder

For more information, click HERE.

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Thru 11/30/18
   3,026 People 
 have gotten jobs
In the NorthCentral
   FSET Program

Fastest Growing Jobs (per North Central Workforce Development Board)

Please head to the NCWDB's website for more data regarding the NorthCentral region!

As you can see, many of the fastest growing jobs are entry level positions, and they pay a lower wage. But don’t let this discourage you if this is not what you want to do long-term! Everyone needs to start somewhere.

Keep in mind that all these positions allow you to gain experience and knowledge that you can take along with you as you travel along your career path.

For example, janitorial and cleaning work is a growing job field with lots of potential. Note the graphics below showing two possible outcomes from starting out with a janitorial or cleaning position!


Remember – every job counts!

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Address: Wood County Human Services - River Block

111 W. Jackson St., 2nd Floor, Wisconsin Rapids WI 54495  

Phone: +1 (715) 421-8608 8


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