Maybe you’ve been out of work for a while, trying in vain to find a job in your field. Or perhaps you’re just starting out with few skills and little experience. In either case, a great way to gain new skills and transition to a more promising career is through government job training. Best of all, there may be several opportunities for you to receive training at little or no cost.
The federal government offers several programs and resources to help you get a foothold in a new industry. You just need to know where to look. Here are a few places to start:
Instituted by the Recovery Act of 2009, the Department of Labor’s One Stop Career Centers can be found in all 50 states. These centers offer free classes in computers and basic academic skills, as well as career counseling, job training options, information on available jobs and other employment services.
The Career One Stop website can direct you to centers near you, as well as education and short term training opportunities in your field of interest.
Trade Adjustment Assistance Program
If you’ve lost your job due to foreign trade, or overseas competition, the Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) program provides you with opportunities to obtain the skills, credentials, resources and support necessary to become reemployed. This can include paid job training and remedial education, as well as weekly cash payments for up to a year after your unemployment benefits run out.
To find out about eligibility, visit the Labor Department’s website.
The Labor Department’s website lists hundreds of apprenticeship programs nationwide, ranging from electrician to chef to dog groomer. These Registered Apprenticeships essentially offer paid job training in traditional industries such as construction, manufacturing, health care industries, and more. Although it doesn’t guarantee fulltime employment, it gives you an advantage when a permanent job opens up.
Job Corps is a free education and training program that helps young people learn a career, earn a high school diploma or GED, and find and keep a good job. To be eligible, you need to between the ages of 16 and 24, and qualify as low income.
Job Corps offers training in more than 100 occupational areas including advanced manufacturing, automotive, and construction careers. Students also receive academic training, GED attainment, college preparatory courses, and Limited English Proficiency courses. Courses in independent living, employability skills and social skills are offered in order to help students successfully transition to the workplace.
The Federal government’s Pathways Program offers students and recent graduates internships, fellowships, training, mentorship and career development opportunities at various Federal agencies, including the Departments of the Interior Defense, Agriculture, and Commerce. Jobs range from wildlife biologists and building management specialists to appraisers and loan technicians.
USAJobs is a free web-based job board that offers thousands of job opportunities at hundreds of federal agencies and organizations around the country. The site also offers resources such as videos on how to find and apply for jobs in the federal government.
You can also find additional employment and training resources on the Department of Labor website.