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Madison Urban League launches team to connect job seekers, employers during pandemic

Madison Urban League launches team to connect job seekers, employers during pandemic


The Urban League of Greater Madison offers a number of training courses at the Southwest Madison Employment Center, 1233 McKenna Blvd. The Urban League is open for business, despite its physical locations being closed as a result of the pandemic. 

To assist those who have lost jobs due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Urban League of Greater Madison has created a team to connect job seekers to employers who are still hiring.

Ruben Anthony, president and CEO, said the Urban League COVID-19 Workforce Recovery Team will foster relationships with companies who require more employees because of the pandemic with those who have lost jobs in other fields.

“Our approach has always been going after what's in demand and making sure we bring employers and job seekers together,” Anthony said. “Our priority now is those folks who have lost those jobs and have a desire to work at a company that needs help now.”

Those who are seeking jobs can contact Ray Allen, the director of the Urban League’s workforce development team, at 608-729-1233.

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The Urban League, which is operating remotely during the pandemic, offers a host of training courses, including one that trains employees to work specifically for the local biomedical giant Exact Sciences. That course is stalled for now, as the company has rescinded job offers to 14 graduates of the job training program because of the spread of the novel coronavirus.

Scott Larrivee, a spokesperson with Exact Sciences, said the company is assessing the effects of COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, on the company. This includes re-evaluating all new hires.

“We’re therefore unable to move ahead with job offers previously made to 14 Academy graduates. These individuals had not started their work at Exact Sciences,” Larrivee said in a statement Monday. “We remain interested in their futures and committed to the Academy and our partnership with the Urban League of Greater Madison.”

The Urban League has offered a program since the fall of 2018 designed to train people specifically to work at Exact Sciences, the company that provides the at-home colon cancer screening test called Cologuard.

The opening of the job center on Madison’s southwest side expanded the Urban League’s capacity to host training programs like the one with Exact Sciences. 

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“The Urban League of Greater Madison is one of our most valued and strongest community partners,” Larrivee said. “The rapid spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) has forced Exact Sciences to adapt and make some difficult decisions.”

Anthony said the Urban League remains strong partners with Exact Sciences.

“When the opportunity presents itself to start training again at Exact Sciences, we’ll be partnering close with them,” Anthony said.

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