Although the job market has recovered from the Bush-era economic crisis, the competition for skilled jobs remains fierce. Any advantage that job seekers can get over other applicants can be enormously helpful. While getting the training needed to either switch careers or be competitive in a new career can be daunting, there are a variety of resources for people looking to expand their skill sets. Check out these resources if you're interested in getting free job training for today's employment market.
US Department of Labor
The Department of Labor maintains 3,000 one-stop career centers in all 50 states. These federally funded centers provide information on available jobs, free computer courses and free basic academic skills as well as career counseling.
The Department of Labor also funds a program called the Trade Adjustment Assistance program. When farmers, production, and manufacturing employees jobs are sent overseas, they become eligible for this program that offers up to 104 weeks of paid job training, remedial education, and an extension for unemployment benefits.
Apprenticeships and Internships
Many employers utilize apprentice and interns as a way of both completing daily tasks and training future members of their industries. Most apprentices and interns do not get paid for their work, but they do get free, on the job training and experience, both of which can be invaluable when it's time to apply for positions in their chosen fields. Apprentices are needed in a multitude of fields including professions such as chefs, engineering, television production and even tattooing.
Employment websites such as monster.com and indeed.com, as well as college and university websites, offer a great deal of information for free. There are also numerous other specialty sites dedicated to helping people find jobs which also includes education and training materials.
Community Centers, Libraries and Non-Profit Organizations
There are non-profit organizations, both local and national, that offer education, training, and job placement help for those in need. For instance:
- Goodwill - Offers assistance in resume writing, interview tips, and some locations offer education and technology classes.
- Elevate America - This Microsoft operated charity teaches job seekers computer skills which make them more marketable to employers. Its initiatives include a program for veterans to help them re-enter the civilian workforce
Community centers and public libraries offer continuing education occasionally that those looking for employment can take advantage of.
Job corps is another government-funded resource for employment seekers. Job corps provides free training and education for youth from low income families. The program helps young adults get their high school diploma or GED and teaches them skills that they will find useful in finding and keeping a job.
Utilizing one or more of these resources before applying or interviewing for a new position will give job seekers an extra boost of confidence and additional skills that will make them more desirable to hiring managers. The more education and training that one can pursue, the higher their confidence level will be, which will also attract positive reactions from whoever is making the hiring decisions.
It might still be tough to find a position in the current economic climate, but every little bit of effort put forth can result in huge benefits!