Unemployment and underemployment significantly impact families, communities and the economy at large. Opportunities for individuals to advance their educations or learn new skills can help them overcome employment challenges and set them on the road to fulfilling and lasting careers. Organizations across the public, private and nonprofit sectors partner and provide funding for programs, such as free trade schools, to produce a skilled and ready-to-work labor force.
Value in Training
Jobs can disappear due to economic downturns that force businesses to cut positions, as well as technological innovations that increase production and render processes obsolete. In instances of emerging industries and technologies, trade schools and other educational programs create new crops of workers to grow the industry. These programs can be found in technical high schools that offer adult training at night and on weekends. Trade programs can also be found at community colleges where government funding can allow for students to go for free or at a greatly reduced cost. While in these programs students can study and earn certifications in technical and medical fields such as computer programming, nursing and automotive technology just to name a few. Cross sector partnerships provide an array of training and job placement opportunities.
Job Corps, a federally-funded program for people aged 16 to 24, provides both academic and vocation-specific training. Young people who did not complete their secondary educations may pursue their high school diplomas or equivalent certifications while also completing job education. Job Corps campuses typically provide housing at no cost to program participants, and some centers even offer services to nonresidents. Candidates must meet specific low-income criteria to qualify. Job Corps centers partner with local businesses seeking to hire trained staff. While working with Job Corps, students can choose from more than 80 different career paths that include training in culinary arts, healthcare, hospitality, transportation and retail to name just a few. With Job Corps training, the possibilities to finding a career that is the right fit is endless.
Goodwill, a national nonprofit organization dedicated to helping people with special employment needs, offers educational and training options for various adult populations. Program offerings include support for immigrants, people with criminal convictions, people with disabilities, people aged 55 and older and veterans of the armed services. Goodwill’s workforce development services vary according to the needs of local target populations.To get involved with Goodwill, one can visit their website and use the resources provided to begin their Goodwill journey. A person can also visit their nearest Goodwill location to get involved.
Apprenticeships contribute to a skilled workforce through classroom education that coincides with practical skills application, and ultimately, job placement. The U.S. Department of Labor Employment and Training Administration possesses oversight of a national registered apprenticeship program. Apprenticeships are available across industries and trades and participants earn progressive incomes based upon their achievements. Apprenticeships are sometimes created by the Department of Labor and an employer in great need of a skilled apprentice. These relationships are beneficial as the employer knows they are getting someone really interested in their field and the Department of Labor is helping an individual that was in the care in search of employment. Apprenticeships can also begin if participants are ready to move into a new career field and aware of a company that might be in need of their services. They are then able to work with the company and get the exact training they need to be successful in the field. Many programs produce graduates with respected certifications or other credentials denoting expertise.
Candice Bailey has been writing and researching since 2004. She has assisted nonprofit, public sector and private organizations with studies and policy development. Bailey holds a Bachelor of Arts in creative writing and a Master of Public Administration, both from the University of Arizona.