Starting a job search can feel overwhelming, especially if you don’t have experience in the field you are applying for. Thankfully, the United States Labor Department funds some very helpful tools for people looking to acquire skills through Training and Employment programs.
- For most people seeking training for employment, the best place to start is Career One-Stop. This hub, sponsored by the U.S. Dept. of Labor, is your window to finding centers near you that provide services like career-counseling, training, resume-building, and job fairs, referrals, and placements.
- They have search tools that are tailored to fit the needs of people on social security, farmworkers, people aged 16-24, Native American people, seniors, and refugees. There are linked pages with resources for veterans as well.
- An alternative site also sponsored by the US Dept. of Labor is MyNextMove, which has an interest profiler to help you discover careers you may not have considered before, among other tools.
- Career One-Stop can also help you locate your nearest American Job Center. Alternatively, you can call 1-877-US-2JOBS (1-877-889-5267). These centers provide similar services to the other job centers you’ll find online, but they can also help you if you qualify for these three programs:
- Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA)—If you were laid off from your last job, this program helps you back on your feet with retraining for your next job.
- Dislocated Worker/Rapid Response Program: This program provides additional resources to help laid-off workers transition into their next job. Just Google to find programs like this in your area.
- Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA)—This program provides training for workers who lost jobs because of increased foreign imports or shifts in production out of the US.
- Apprenticeships are an option that you will also find on Career One-Stop and Apprenticeship.gov. They provide work experience, classroom instruction, and credentials in fields from electrical work and carpentry to nursing and software design.
- If you are on SNAP, the USDA nutrition assistance program, you may also qualify for SNAP E&T, also known as “SNAP to Skills.” This program helps you get your training through AJCs, community colleges, or community-based organizations (CBOs) by contributing to costs of transportation, dependent care, equipment and supplies related to training, books, uniforms, licensing fees, administrative expenses, tuition/fees, case management/career navigation, and/or job development.
- For 16 to 24-year-olds who need job skills, are income eligible, and can legally work in the USA the Job Corps is also a good (cost-free) way to learn and acquire skills for employment. (A note for parenting students: If you are a parent, they do require you to have pre-arranged childcare because most students live in dormitories.)
And these resources are just the first step! By investing time in acquiring the skills employers are looking for, you can earn the confidence and credentials you need to secure the job you want.