Program to help workers during pandemic sees spike in use

MADISON, Wis. (AP) A Wisconsin program to help small companies retain workers when business is slow has taken off after it was changed to allow more employees to qualify during the coronavirus pandemic.

The Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development said Tuesday that since mid-March, more than 14,000 workers have signed up to receive partial unemployment benefits paid for by the federal government under the Work-Share program.

From 2016 until mid-March, there had been just shy of 900 participants. There are now 342 Work-Share plans in place compared with 20 before. U.S. Rep. Mark Pocan says many small businesses still don't know about the successful program.