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What you don't know could help you

The St. Croix Valley Job Center offers help from various groups for people struggling to find work. There are offices in River Falls and Eau Claire, but the job center serves all of St. Croix Valley.

The Wisconsin Job Center offers many programs to help people find jobs, improve their job-search and interview skills, and match job-seekers and employers. However, many people don't realize it, said Aracely Olguin, bilingual employment and training specialist with the Job Service Bureau.

Olguin works for the St. Croix Valley Job Center.

The Job Service Bureau is a division of Wisconsin Workforce development, and a partner in the Wisconsin Job Centers. Olguin has been working with Wisconsin Job Services for more than 20 years, and she said many people don't realize that Job Services can help them.

"I try to post our library schedule with different cities," Olguin said, but she also said spreading the word that the Job Center exists, is hard. "Any help we can get, that would be great."

While Job Services and the Job Center offer a variety of services, Olguin said one of the most popular is one-on-one help. Whenever possible, Olguin will sit down with a client and give them insight into jobs, and help them make connections. But as she works in all of Pierce and St. Croix counties, and even out of the counties in the summer months, she doesn't help as many clients as she'd like to.

Olguin also travels to libraries in Pierce and St. Croix counties, and people can walk in and talk to her at those times with no appointment necessary. Olguin said one, two, five or sometimes no people will show up at any of her scheduled library times.

But Olguin said, whoever does show up, she helps to the best of the Center's ability with whatever they may want help with.

"My motto is, I don't have all the answers, but I have lots of contacts and can always make referrals," Olguin said.

She said she helps people with resume writing, knowing where to look for jobs, and refers them to other services if they need help she can't provide.

"Most people don't know there are a lot of services available to them," Olguin said. "Whether they're employed, unemployed or underemployed or whether they're just getting into the labor force, and we want to make sure they're aware of those services."

Olguin also does migrancy outreach, bringing information about job services to migrant workers, should they want to relocate to the area, or information on job centers in their home state, to help them find work if they are not relocating.

While some other partners in the Job Center have certain requirements clients have to meet, Olguin said she doesn't.

"Job Services will work with anyone," she said.

Visit for information and for schedules.

Gretta Stark

Gretta Stark has been a reporter for the River Falls Journal since July of 2013. She previously worked as a reporter for the New Richmond News from June 2012 to July 2013. She holds a BA in Print and Electronic Media from Wartburg College.

(715) 426-1048